Meet Anaiah

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

The Extreme Makeover: Home Edition team has “moved that bus,” and the dust and the drywall are settling in Madison, Ga., for Children’s patient Anaiah Rucker. Anaiah Rucker, age 9, learned that lesson when she jumped in front of a pickup truck to save her 5-year-old sister, Camry Harden. She suffered injuries that resulted in the amputation of her left leg. As she continued to receive treatment at Children’s, her story of selfless love quickly spread.

ABC’s hit show came to her hometown last week to give her a brand new house, complete with ADA-accessible features. Some of her caregivers at Children’s were integral in the planning and implementation stages of her new house.

Rebecca Hernandez, Children's Orthotist and Prosthetist, knew that Anaiah’s family was being considered for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. The producers of the show contacted Rebecca and Colleen Coulter-O'Berry, Physical Therapist and Team Leader for Children's Limb Deficiency Program, regarding Anaiah’s needs. They wanted advice on equipment and interior designs that might help Anaiah on her road to recovery.

Meanwhile, Anaiah began physical, speech and occupational therapy in Madison. Colleen collaborated with the therapists in Madison and the producers of the show to make the best possible home.

“Not only did we outline what was needed for Anaiah’s care, but more importantly, we created a team so that we will all maintain contact to ensure that Anaiah has the best possible recovery from her tragic accident,” says Rebecca. “We found that the community therapists in Madison are extremely competent, dedicated and open to working with us. We have no doubt that Anaiah’s care will be seamless.”

Despite all her hard work, Colleen credits a number of people for this miracle coming together for Anaiah. She is pleased that Children’s and her new friends in east Georgia are able to provide “the need for collaboration of care so Anaiah can be treated in her local community with the specialty expertise offered by Children’s rehabilitation, particularly prosthetics and physical therapy.”

She goes on to sing the praises of Anaiah’s caregivers in her hometown. “Family-centered care in a child's home environment is crucial for optimal outcomes.”