Lailani Casara was born at only 25 weeks after her mother, Eva Mae Casara, 17, was fatally shot during a botched robbery on Christmas Day last year, the Chicago Tribune reports.
The baby spent months in a Chicago neonatal intensive care unit, but was recently released and went home for the first time with her aunt and great grandmother.
On Christmas Day last year, Casara and her boyfriend, Anthony Lee, 16, his half brothers Diante Coakley, 21, and Darius Marshall, 19, planned a robbery. Casara arranged a meeting with the intended victim and when he arrived, she got in the back seat of his Cadillac.
The car abruptly sped away and two of the brothers opened fire on the vehicle, fatally striking Casara once in the back of the head.
Casara was transported to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. Her baby was born via emergency cesarean section and weighed a mere 1 pound, 10 ounces.
Casara didn’t survive, and while her baby did, doctors said the outlook for the premature infant was grim.
Nearly six months later, baby Lailani now weighs 7 pounds and no longer requires the aid of a ventilator to breathe. She’s finally out of the hospital and resting at home with her great grandmother Fannie Casara and her aunt Autumn Vargas-Bell.
“Everything now is geared toward that baby,” great grandmother Fannie Casara said.
Lee and his two half borhters, Coakley and Marshall were arrested after the shooting and face murder charges.
[ Chicago Tribune ]