Nine-year-old Anaiah Rucker is one tough, little hero. She was helping her little sister, 5-year-old Cameron Harden (“Camry”), cross the street to get to a school bus stop in Georgia last month when Camry stepped in front of a pick-up truck.
On the Today show this morning, Anaiah told Ann Curry that she didn’t even think twice about pushing her sister out of harm’s way. Anaiah ended up getting hit instead and suffered a broken neck, lost a kidney, has spleen damage, and broke both legs. One leg had to be amputated.
“I love her more than anything,” Anaiah told Channel 2’s Tom Jones of her sister.
Anaiah says it had been raining that morning and the hood of her sweatshirt was covering her eyes as the pair tried to make it across the street. Andrea Taylor, the girls’ mother, watched in horror from her front porch, as she does every morning.
“I saw the truck and I was like, ‘No’,” Taylor said. “I seen my daughter kinda snatch my 5-year-old back, and if it wasn’t for that, my 5-year-old would have … I don’t think she would have made it.”
This morning, Anaiah said she doesn’t feel like she should be called a hero. She was just looking out for her sibling. She said that Camry was just “too young to be hit like this, and if she got hit she wouldn’t hardly be alive. She would be probably gone forever.”
As soon as the pick-up struck the child, bus driver Loretta Berryman pulled over and performed CPR on Anaiah, who had stopped breathing.
“I instructed her mom to hold her head while I gave mouth-to-mouth, chest compressions,” Berryman said. “As she took a breath, my first thing was, ‘Thank God’.”
“I don’t care if I get hurt or sick because of her,” said Anaiah. “I love her. I didn’t want her to be the one that had to face all these injuries.”
“My sister shielded me so I won’t get hit and get my leg cut off like her,” said Camry. “She’s a great hero.”
The driver of the pick-up truck wasn’t charged in the incident.
Thousands of her classmates were there to greet little Anaiah Rucker when she got out of the hospital last month, where she had spent the last month being treated for her injuries.
The ride home, which included a police escort, paused just long enough for a hug and kiss from Berryman. The day was declared Anaiah Rucker Day in Madison.
As word of little Anaiah’s heroism spread, the neighborhood got together and held a barbecue to raise money to help pay Anaiah’s medical bills, as Taylor had recently lost her job and her car.
If you’d like to contribute to the cause, you can do so here.
Check out the video below for more:
- Girl, 9, nearly dies saving sister from oncoming truck (today.msnbc.msn.com)