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Woman names newborn daughters after sons who died in car crash

Trista Curry gave her daughters middle names that honored her late sons.
/ Source: TODAY

A North Dakota woman who gave birth less than a year after losing her two sons in a devastating car wreck has honored her boys by giving her newborn daughters her sons' names as middle names.

Trista Curry, 31, was driving from Fargo, North Dakota to surprise her mother for the Easter holiday in Stephen, Minnesota last March when a blizzard suddenly set in and her car began to slip off the road.

With her three children Camden, 9, Avalon, 3, and Maxwell, 19 months in the back seat, the vehicle collided with a semi-trailer truck.

"I just remember screaming for help over and over, literally screaming for God to help," Curry told TODAY Parents.

Camden and Maxwell were killed instantly. Curry and her daughter survived, but were left with horrific injuries; Avalon with a fractured skull, brain bleed and fractured fascia bones, and Curry a broken arm, five broken ribs, a lacerated liver, and a fractured vertebrae, scapula and pneumothorax.

Returning home from the hospital without her sons was the hardest part. "Seeing their stuff, still there...seeing my son’s book flipped over where he had left it out from reading it last," Curry said.

Woman names newborn daughters after sons who died in car crash
Trista Curry and her children, Avalon, Maxwell and Camden.Courtesy of Trista Curry

Then, just three months after the accident, Curry found out she was pregnant again.

"I thought no, this isn't happening," Curry recounted. "My body can’t even handle carrying a baby right now."

Curry didn't want more kids after the crash. "I just wanted my boys," she said.

This time, she was expecting twins. Finding out that she was having girls was "like a smack in the face from God. I wanted to be a boy mom, too," she said.

Her last son Maxwell had been born at home, but Curry chose a hospital birth for her twins. "I was really scared about how I would feel about them after," she explained.

Labor was traumatic, and she insisted that she wasn't ready to give birth. "But once they arrived, it was completely different. I could already tell I loved them fiercely," she added.

Isla Camden and Eloise Maxwell were born on February 18, 2019.

Woman names newborn daughters after sons who died in car crash
Trista Curry's daughter Avalon and her new twins, Eloise Maxwell and Isla Camden, whose middle names honor their lost brothers.Courtesy of Trista Curry

Amidst the new beginnings, Curry made a cathartic choice; she gave her new daughters middle names to honor the sons she had lost.

"Right away when I accepted that they were girls, I just knew that regardless, I wanted to give them [my sons' names] as their middle names," Curry said.

One year after the crash, Curry has physically recovered, but is receiving therapy to cope with the post-traumatic stress disorder it caused. She says her eldest daughter Avalon initially seemed to accept what had happened, but has begun to talk about missing her brothers. She is benefiting from 'play therapy,' a kind of therapy that helps children to express and heal from trauma through play.

Curry says her relationship with her partner ultimately wasn't able to deal with the strain of their loss, but they still work together to co-parent their children.

She acknowledges that talking about the death of children can be uncomfortable, but feels it's important to remember the kind of people they were.

"Camden, honestly, I feel like he was born to be a big brother. He and Maxwell had this crazy bond," Curry said. "And Maxwell had the biggest dimples. He was a big snuggler. He was still nursing at the time of the crash."

While nothing will replace her sons, Curry knows that passing on their names to her new daughters helps them live on.

"I want them to say 'I was named after my brother that passed away before I was born.'"