A year and a half ago, Daniel Stirling’s life was in a dark place.
He’d just lost his heavily pregnant partner in a car accident, and while their baby boy was saved, he was in a critical condition clinging to life in hospital.
Now, little Caleb is thriving. But celebrating his first birthday was a bittersweet occasion for Daniel, coinciding with the night he lost the love of his life, Sarah Paino.
“Very tough. But we treated it as Caleb’s birthday more so,” Daniel told Melissa Doyle in an emotional Sunday Night interview.
“I’m doing okay. I have some bad days where I just can’t stop thinking about her, you know. Like every morning the thought’s always there. It’s more so when I’m alone at night.”
On the night of January 21 last year, Sarah had dropped Daniel off at the bakery where he worked in Hobart.
Just minutes into her journey home, four youths speeding through town in a stolen car crashed into her vehicle.
Tragically, Sarah died at the scene. Her unborn baby’s life was hanging in the balance.
In the ambulance on the way to hospital, paramedics continued performing CPR on Sarah in a desperate attempt to keep her baby alive.
Soon after arriving at the hospital, Caleb was born, delivered by emergency caesarean.
Despite his rough start to life, Daniel said his son has no health issues as a result of the crash.
“He had an appointment last week with the pediatrician at the Royal Hobart Hospital and he absolutely aced it, which made me proud,” he said.
For Daniel, family is now more important than ever. As Caleb and his older brother Jordan continue to grow and learn, Daniel is determined teach them about their kind and loving mum.
“It’s a very full on gig, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I mean, I would as such – I’d have Sarah back in a heartbeat,” he said.
“But I’m pushing on, I’m doing the best I can.”