“How do I stay strong? I have four big reasons.”
It would be difficult to have quadruplets.
Imagine raising four babies at the same time as a single parent.
Carlos was faced with that when his wife died.
It is a tragically unthinkable scenario that is a part of reality.
Morales found the strength to carry on despite the hardship.
Carlos Jr., Tracy, and twins Erica and Paisley were brought into the world on Jan. 15, 2015.
The mother died eight hours later from hypovolemic shock.
Hypovolemic shock is an emergency condition where the heart cannot pump enough blood to the body.
After his wife died, Morales received a lot of love and support. Steve Harvey blessed him with $10,000 for each child provided by Sallie Mae to be used for a college savings account because of the $486,000 raised through GoFundMe.
A year after the children were born, they celebrated their first birthday with a party that was a day of mixed emotions.
“It’s all very bittersweet,” Morales told PEOPLE while tearing up. “I’m celebrating their birthday, but I also lost my wife and they lost their mom.”
While surrounded by family and friends at a local playground, he still took the time to spend time with each of his individual children to give them an equal amount of attention.
“Erica would have loved this,” said Morales, who was 30, at the time. “It would have been an even bigger party. She really liked this kind of stuff. She was looking forward to it.”
Before the party started, his family and friends organized a memorial walk for his wife.
She told stories about his wife to his children as he pushed their strollers during the walk.
Morales is surrounded by love and support. He admits having little time to grieve, but it has helped him keep up his spirits.
“I’m rarely alone,” he said. “I can’t believe it’s been a year. I just wish Erica was here to see them crawl and see them start to walk. There are going to be so many more firsts she won’t be around for.”
He and his children are taking it one day at a time.
His mother-in-law moved in with him to help out while he worked.
“I’m just thinking about life more now and how you have to enjoy every single minute and moment, especially with your family and friends,” he says. “I enjoy every moment with my babies because life is short.”
He fell in love with his wife when he laid eyes on her.
“I didn’t speak any English and she didn’t speak any Spanish,” he says, laughing. “But I asked her to dance and she said yes.”
They were married in Las Vegas a year after he gave her his number, but she threw it away.
“How do I stay strong? I have four big reasons,” he said. “We planned for years to enjoy this together. I’m a great father because of her. I can’t let Erica down.”
You can learn more about the story in the video.