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Smyrna mom juggles work, caring for twins after fiancé's death

A Smyrna mother is struggling to care for her twin boys after the death of their father.

Taron Hester was only 24 on Sept. 29. He was driving north on Route 13 in New Castle when, for unknown reasons, his car passed through the median and into oncoming traffic, according to Delaware State Police. His vehicle was struck directly in the driver-side door and he was seriously injured. Hester’s passenger and the other driver suffered non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

Hester went into a coma at Christiana Hospital. About a month later, his family made the difficult decision to take him off life support.

Taron Hester, Ashley Maldonado and their twins, Kameron and Kyrie, when the boys were infants. Hester died in October following a car accident.

“He was so young and had so much going for him,” said his mother, Tera Maxey of Philadelphia. “He really was a good kid, an ambitious go-getter. It’s just so devastating.”

Hester had been with his fiancée, 25-year-old Ashely Maldonado, for about eight years, since they first met at St. George’s High School in Middletown.

“Taron was a jokester. Sarcastic, funny. He would have strangers smiling,” Maldonado said. “He was loving. He had a lot of friends and he was very happy. He was a great person.”

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Hester was a successful plumber and had already purchased his first home. Maldonado stayed at home to care for their three-year-old twins with special needs, Kameron and Kyrie.

“He was providing for his family, making sure his kids and Ashley had everything they needed,” Maxey said. “And Ashley’s a good mom, definitely. She took excellent care of my son and she takes excellent care of the children.”

Maldonado’s mother, Melinda Soto, lives in Florida. She started a GoFundMe to help her daughter handle the bills while she figures out how to manage her new normal.

“Taron [had] always provided everything his kids ever needed or wanted, from even before they took their first breath. That makes this situation even harder,” Soto wrote.

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With Hester gone, Maldonado faces numerous challenges. The boys are autistic and require special therapies weekly.

“Most daycares cannot accommodate them,” Maxey said.

Maldonado said she’ll begin working a night shift job so the boys can stay with her sister overnight and she can continue to care for them in the day. 

Sleep? “I haven’t gotten that far yet,” she said.

Maldonado said any money she gets through the GoFundMe will mostly go toward her mortgage. Donations can be made here.

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