'Hamilton' Star Miguel Cervantes's Daughter Loses Battle With Epilepsy

Photo: Instagram
Who Is Miguel Cervantes? New Details On The 'Hamilton' Star And Tragic Death Of 3-Year-Old Daughter

The world has been following the heartbreaking story of Adelaide Cervantes and her fight against epilepsy. Adelaide's father Miguel is currently performing the role of Alexander Hamilton in Hamilton: An American Musical in Chicago and he and his wife recently shared that their 3-year-old daughter had been moved to hospice care.

Diagnosed with a severe form of the seizure disorder as a baby, Adelaide's health declined over the summer and Miguel and his wife Kelly made the decision to transition to hospice care for their child. They spent her life helping her and trying to raise funds and awareness for epilepsy research to help others in the future. On Sunday, they shared that Adelaide passed away.

Who is Miguel Cervantes? Read on to learn more. 

1. Miguel and Kelly

For fans of Hamilton, Miguel Cervantes is the actor in the title role of the Chicago production. Before landing that part, he starred on Broadway in If/Then, American Idiot and 25th Annual...Spelling Bee. Other shows he's done include Giant, Tails, Henry and Mudge and more. He has also appeared in a number of TV shows, including Person of Interest, Braindead, Madame Secretary, Royal Pains, The Blacklist and All My Children. His film credits include The Greatest, N.B.T. and Tramps. Kelly Cervantes was also an actress for a time before moving into the restaurant world. According to her bio on Citizens United For Research In Epilepsy (CURE), she worked for a restaurant called Riverpark selling and coordinating in-house and catered events. In addition to Adelaide, they have a son named Jackson who is seven years old. 

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2. Life-changing news

Adelaide was only seven months old when her parents found out she had a form of epilepsy called infantile spasms. At the same time, they got the news that Miguel had been offered a role in the Chicago production of Hamilton. They had to make some serious decisions very quickly at that point. "In May 2016, Miguel and I received two life-changing pieces of news: Miguel had landed the starring role of Alexander Hamilton in Hamilton: An American Musical in Chicago and, our then 7-months-old baby, Adelaide was diagnosed with epilepsy and eventually, infantile spasms, a severe form of childhood epilepsy," Kelly wrote on their website Inchstones. "Choosing family first and the role of the lifetime, we made the move to Chicago where we currently live."

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3. Full-time caregiver

After Adelaide's diagnosis, Kelly became her full-time caregiver. She required significant medical care and therapy so Kelly turned all of her attention to managing Adelaide's needs. Her development was delayed due to her condition and Kelly started a blog about their journey called "Inchstones," a reference to their attitude of celebrating progress in inches instead of the milestones other children reach. Regardless of the family's diligence and love, there weren't a lot of options for Adelaide. "My truth is that, at this point, there is little we can do to definitively improve Adelaide’s condition: we are waiting for science to catch up to her," Kelly wrote. 

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4. Transitioning to hospice

Over the summer, the family learned that Adelaide was reaching a point where there was nothing more doctors could do to treat her condition. "In May, after a brain MRI, we received confirmation that Adelaide’s brain was smaller than it was in December. This was now a trend that we couldn’t explain away with med side effects. Her overarching condition, whatever it is, is neuro-degenerative. The word that has haunted us from our earliest days on this journey, our worst nightmare, has come true," Kelly shared on her blog. "We’ve watched as she’s lost the ability to suck her thumb, as she’s drifted more distantly from us month after month, and now this. There is no cure and no way to reverse it, her brain is deteriorating and we can’t stop it."

"We realized we had to listen to what her body was telling us and, last month, we shifted our goals from improving her health to keeping her as comfortable as possible: we transitioned her to hospice care," Kelly continued.  "Without an overarching diagnosis, there is no way to know how long we have with her. I’m sure you don’t even want to imagine how difficult a decision this was for Miguel and I to make so we appreciate your support and knowledge that we have fought as hard as we could for Adelaide. Our number one priority remains to do what is best for HER."

5. Learning to move on

Kelly wrote about the care the family was getting from hospice and shared information about the help the Child Life specialists were providing to their son Jackson. "[They] have given him someone to talk to and play with who can help him make sense of the inevitable," she shared. "Our child life specialist also facilitated an absolutely perfect mold of my babies holding hands which I will treasure forever. Apparently, beautiful things can come out of hospice!"

Kelly also described hospice as helping them make the transition away from the "medically-driven" life that they had been leading for the past several years. They no longer need the hospital visits and lab tests and therapies that were part of their daily existence before. Their goal now was to enjoy their time with Adelaide and make her comfortable. "So, this is life in hospice. A day at a time, taking our cues from Miss A, making decisions regarding her care I never could have imagined," Kelly shared. "But there are also some beautiful moments and memories being made along the way that we will cherish forever. And at the center of it all is the feistiest little girl I’ll ever know who has no idea the impact she has made but really wishes mommy would give her some space and sleep in her own bed tonight. Not gonna happen, my love, not gonna happen."

The mold of the children's hands.

6. A sad goodbye

On October 14, Kelly posted a black and white photo of Adelaide's bedroom. In the caption, she wrote that her daughter had passed away. "The machines are off. Her bed is empty. The quiet is deafening," Kelly shared. "Miss Adelaide Grace left us early Saturday morning. She went peacefully in my arms and surrounded by love. Finally, she is free from pain, reactions and seizures but leaves our hearts shattered. We love you so much Adelaideybug and forever after."

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A post shared by Kelly Cervantes (@kellygc411) on Oct 13, 2019 at 2:24pm PDT

Adelaide was 3 years old.

7. Her life and legacy

The family has understandably retreated from attention in the days since Adelaide passed but Miguel took to Twitter to thank everyone for their support. "Dear everyone. Just wanted you to know that @KellyGC411, Jackson and I are doing ok. We are comforted knowing there are so many people sending positive vibes. We are seeing all of it. and thanks," he wrote before adding. "We will be celebrating her life and legacy soon."

The world mourns for Adelaide Cervantes. 

Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. Her work has been seen at Ravishly, Babble, Scary Mommy, The Mid, Redbook online, and The Broad Side. She is the creator of the blog Stay at Home Pundit and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.