Del Riccos Share Their Heartache - Part 2 - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Del Riccos Share Their Heartache - Part 2

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BALTIMORE, Md. - Little Ava is now 2 year old. Her family celebrated her birthday in May. "Just a small family event," Ava's mom, Annmarie, tells WMDT's Emily Lampa, "Ava's theme was Minnie Mouse. She loved and admired Minnie Mouse. She played Minnie Mouse for Halloween."

6 months have passed since the devastating car crash in Ocean City which changed their lives, and the family is still very much in the process of healing emotionally as well as physically.

But just a few months after the accident, the family asked doctors if they could bring Ava home, and they got their wish. "That was important to us," explains Annmarie, "to try to normalize our family again. And I think it was most important to start the healing process and accepting our new life by being able to do it ourselves."

Annmarie, George and Ava do some physical therapy at home. But a huge step starts this coming week. Ava begins intense therapy at least 3 days a week at Johns Hopkins Children's Center in Baltimore. "We're excited about that new chapter of rehabilitation to start," admits Ava's mom.

But this family, moving so positively forward, can't help but look back at the life they had just half a year ago. "You know, I always said, gosh I have the perfect life," remembers Annmarie, tearfully. "You know, I'm so lucky to have such two wonderful healthy wonderful healthy girls and to be able to do all the mommy and me classes, and watch my children play at the playground, run at the park, swim in the pool in the summertime. But my life has changed. And it's just really sad that Ava's not able to participate in daily activities that a two year old toddler would do." "Around 4:30 to 5," adds George Del Ricco, crying openly. "She'd be waiting at the window, looking out. And that is one thing I miss."

Ava's parents admit, the life changes have been very difficult for their older daughter, 4-year-old Sage, as well. "I wish I could be with Sage as much as I am with Ava," confesses Annmarie, "cause she's not only missing Ava as a playmate, she's missing me. I'm here 7 days a week - all day and night - with Ava. I just don't want to leave her side."

Annmarie admits she's still a bit frightened to leave the apartment and get in a car alone with Ava. So for the past few months, she tells WMDT she has rarely left the confines of the family's Baltimore area apartment. "It's kind of scary…I don't like to drive with her."

But Annmarie and George did made it out by themselves for the first time since the accident this past Friday the 8th, for their wedding anniversary. "It was a short night," laughs Annmarie. "We looked at each other and said, let's go home."

This family who has been through so much, clearly values each sweet moment together more than ever before. "We're trying to make the best of it, and doing the best we can." Annmarie tells WMDT with tears in her eyes.

Businesses across Ocean City are now preparing for a huge fundraising weekend to benefit the Del Ricco family and little Ava.

Click here for information on the Del Ricco Benefit fund.

Click here for the Candles For Baby Ava facebook page that has the details on events this weekend.

Meet Baby Ava & Her Family - Part 1

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BALTIMORE, Md. - Baby Ava is a name we all know very well here on the Eastern Shore. Our hearts opened in concern and sympathy for this little girl, who was critically injured in a devastating car crash this past December in Ocean City.

Del Riccos Share Details From The Crash - Part 3

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BALTIMORE, Md. - In the final part of our 3 part series on Baby Ava, the Del Ricco family shares with WMDT's Emily Lampa the details from that devastating day back in December, and how they 're preparing for the upcoming trial of the man believed responsible for the crash.

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