Lehi mom stranded in snowstorm grateful for help from unexpected stranger
Dec 1, 2022, 2:15 PM | Updated: Dec 2, 2022, 2:13 pm
SARATOGA SPRINGS, Utah — Two Utah County women are sharing how a desperate situation during Monday’s snowstorm turned into a heartwarming story they’ll never forget. A Lehi mom stranded with her hungry, crying infant in the car, and nowhere to go found refuge in an unlikely place.
Alexandra and Mauro Figueroa’s worlds revolve around their baby, Sunny.
Much of their time is spent making sure their 3-month-old little girl is happy and doing OK. On Wednesday evening, as Mauro held Sunny before bed, Alexandra started playing music and they danced with their baby. Sunny was getting fussy, and the couple worked to calm her.
They explained that a lot of their conversations are about what needs to happen next to meet Sunny’s needs.
That’s why when Alexandra got stuck in bad traffic during the snowstorm Monday evening and her commute home from work with Sunny was taking longer than normal, she immediately called Mauro.
What was normally a 20-minute drive from Eagle Mountain to Lehi had already taken over an hour. Alexandra was stuck in standstill traffic on Mountain View Corridor in Saratoga Springs.
Sunny was awake in the dark and getting hungry. Her diaper needed to be changed. Alexandra said Sunny began to cry.
It became very apparent to Alexandra and Mauro that the traffic was not going to clear up for awhile. As Mauro looked at Google Maps, Alexandra still had an hour and a half to two hours before she’d be home.
“There was a traffic person who said, ‘We’re redirecting you because there’s an accident and too many cars are coming towards it and it’s making it worse. So we’re just pushing people in the neighborhood to get you out of the way, and you’ll just have to hang out in there,” Alexandra said of what she was told.
She pulled off of Mountain View, west of Redwood Road, and into the neighborhood, where cars were being redirected. But then, she became stuck in more traffic as she tried to get out.
Alexandra ended up stopping on the side of the road and got into the backseat with Sunny to feed her and change her.
“I was upset because I just was like, wow, I’m taking care of my baby in the back of the car, there’s a blizzard going on, and I looked at the directions and the ETA said an hour and a half until we’d be home,” Alexandra said. “And that’s when it really hit me like, ‘Oh my gosh. What is the situation that I’m in right now?!”
Alexandra said she told Mauro, who was still on the phone with her, that it might be better to go knock on someone’s door and see if she could go inside. He agreed, and Alexandra began to drive around.
She saw a woman closing the blinds in a window. Alexandra ended up stopping and knocking on the door.
At first, there was no answer, and as Alexandra started heading back to her car, she could see the woman waving out her window. Alexandra waved back, and the woman opened the window and asked if she was OK.
Camille Osborn let Alexandra inside out of the blistery cold, holding Sunny.
“[She] just started crying. I could tell she immediately felt just like relief from just being in a home,” Camille recounted.
It turned out that Camille had already taken in a friend who got stranded on the same stretch of Mountain View Corridor. That friend had already been there, waiting out the storm, for about an hour.
Alexandra and Sunny got settled in the living room next to the Christmas tree. Camille brought the new mom a blanket, water, and snacks.
The three women relaxed and started to talk.
“We just talked about babies, and her birth, and community, and building a tribe” Camille said.
She said they found out they have a lot in common. Camille is a doula and Alexandra had a doula for Sunny’s birth.
“They helped me get set up to feed her again,” Alexandra said.
After breastfeeding Sunny, she let her daughter lay under the Christmas tree to look at the lights and play.
“Women just connecting with other women. It was really special,” Camille said.
Alexandra said it didn’t feel like a stressful situation anymore, but just like she was hanging out with friends.
“I think I just, I needed that,” she said, getting emotional. “There was no hesitation to just welcome me in and give me a safe place to be.”
Alexandra said she texted Mauro that she and Sunny were safe. They waited at Camille’s home for somewhere around two hours before Google Maps was showing that traffic had returned to normal.
The mom and baby went on their way, but the women exchanged numbers. Camille and Alexandra have been keeping in touch since and hope to meet up again.
Alexandra said it gave her hope that there are good people out there, willing to answer the door.
“Sometimes we have this idea in our mind that the world is so bad lately, and I don’t think so, actually,” Alexandra said. “I think maybe if we knocked on each other’s door more often, then we would probably feel a lot better about our community and realize that everyone is human and trying our best.”
Camille expressed that she felt Alexandra was brave to ask for support and help from a stranger, and that it was a moment neither of them will forget.
“I was blessed by her coming into my life and into my home,” Camille said. “And so, I was really grateful for that.”