Anaiah Rucker, 9, and her 5-year-old sister, Camry, were crossing the street to get to the school bus stop, just like they did every day. Their mother watched as they walked, no doubt so she could keep a watchful eye on their safety until they boarded the bus.
In a fleeting instant, a truck was bearing down on the two girls as they walked and Anaiah had to make a split-second decision — she pushed her younger sibling out the way and took the hit herself. The impact broke her neck and crumpled both of her legs so badly that one had to be amputated. She lost a kidney and damaged her spleen.
When asked why she saved her sister, the brave-hearted child simply said, “If she got hit, she wouldn’t hardly be alive. She would be probably gone forever. I love her so much.”
Reading the story of how Anaiah almost made the ultimate sacrifice brings tears to my eyes. I’m an emotional sap anyway, but she made a blink-of-an-eye choice that not everyone would be able to make, even if they were given a few hours to do it in. I’ve seen people struggle with the idea of giving up bone marrow to save a relative — and these are grown folks being asked to do this for members of their immediate families.
Clearly, coming across an adult with this little girl’s brand of selflessness doesn’t happen on the regular. To hear a story about a young child who does is downright amazing. I am in love with this little girl. She’s my heroine.
Her recovery will be long, but her mother, who I’m positive was horrified as she watched the entire accident unfold from her spot across the street, is beyond grateful that she didn’t have to lose one daughter in order to save the other — a mom’s worst nightmare, next to watching one of your children get slammed by a moving truck. Their community has rallied around them to help thwart the mounting medical bills as a result of Anaiah’s ongoing treatment and injuries she’ll suffer from for the rest of her life.
But saving the life of someone you love? The fact that she’s still able to smile says that that’s priceless.
Are your children protective of each other? Do they look out for one another?
Image via William Wilson loves Belinda/Flickr