Mother, newborn reunited after crash that killed father

John Keefe went to pick up his granddaughter Tuesday.

A Madison County woman who lost her husband in a crash was reunited with her newborn daughter this week.

Already nine days old, little Autumn Sperry had not yet met the one person who will matter most in her life - her mother, Rebecca - until yesterday.

The young mother had never had the chance to hold her baby since she was born by emergency C-section after the car crash that killed Autumn's father, Jesse. Rebecca remains in a rehab facility after suffering several injuries, but baby Autumn has recovered enough so that she can be sent home.

Rebecca Sperry's father, John Keefe, went to the hospital Tuesday to pick up his newborn granddaughter. Her release from the hospital came just one day before the family would attend Jesse's funeral - a day little Autumn won't remember but Rebecca likely will never forget.

Keefe had tears of joy in his eyes as he walked into the hospital, baby carseat in hand. The family said they'd bring the baby to Rebecca so mother and child can be together.

"This will be the first time she'll get to hold her baby and so we're just excited for her," Keefe said. "She's going to be excited."

The infant will stay with her mother at the rehab facility until both can finally go home together.

"We got some people from our church that are coming in, cause they'll have to care for her...other than the feeding," added Keefe.

According to the family, they nearly lost the baby in the crash, too. While the family is mourning a terrible loss, they're also grateful that two loved ones survived.

Keefe said he's already gotten to hold his granddaughter and read her story books in the nursery at Riley Hospital for children, and when she's older, he's got a message to share with his first grandchild.

"Someday, I'll just remind her that she is indeed a miracle of God, that God has a special purpose for her in this life," Keefe said. "Just a hair's breath. A hair's breath from not making it; that God has given her mercy and certainly has a special purpose for her."

Off-duty Edgewood Police Officer James Foutch was charged in the crash. Investigators determined he was doing 92 mph and he admitted to taking hydrocodone earlier that morning.

A fund set up to help Rebecca Sperry with expenses has raised over $19,000. Donate here.