Miami Marlins pitcher, José Fernández died tragically in a boating accident last year, just a few months after announcing that he and his girlfriend, Maria Arias were expecting a child. Since his passing, Arias gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named Penelope and for the first time she’s speaking out about what a whirlwind the last couple of months have been for her.
“He made me feel so good about the pregnancy, that I didn’t care what I had to face. I never thought it would be of this magnitude, but I felt strong, I felt confident,” she says to People magazine. This was before the accident, which not only left him dead but two of his friends.
Arias was left with the aftermath, which included funerals, memorials, and an official investigation, including a lawsuit from the families of the two other diseased men, who blamed Fernández. After a 6-month investigation, the Florida and Wildlife Conservation Commission concluded that Fernández had been driving the boat at the time of the crash and had traces of cocaine in his system and a blood-alcohol level of .147, nearly twice the legal limit.
“It felt very robotic,” she says of that time. “All I wanted to do was lock myself in our room and be alone,” says Arias. On February 24th, Penelope Jo Fernández was born and it became more evident that she was going to face raising her daughter on her own. “He loved her from the moment she was conceived,” Arias says of Fernández, who also picked her name, Penelope, after a Spanish song. “Everyone knew how excited he was to be a dad, he made sure of it.”