The Ohio mother of the 18-month-old girl who died of injuries from a Thanksgiving Day car crash said life is different without her.
Ciera Jones, Camiyah Carty's mother, said the child was her "everything" — and that now she's a hero because her organs were used to save other lives after her death.
"She was the best; she was always happy," Jones said. "Everyone loved her. … She loved to dance. That's all she ever wanted to do was dance. It's different without her, not here."
Jones said Camiyah and her cousin, Kile Cooper, were on their way home from her mother’s on Thanksgiving when a tire on their car blew.
“We tried to get out and change the tire but the lug nuts kept stripping, so we tried to get the spare from underneath,” Jones said. “It was flat, of course, so we decided to put the hazards on, get to the right of the highway and travel a slow distance.”
Jones said she was paying attention to all her mirrors, and that everyone was going around her properly, when suddenly another car hit hers.
“I just remember us getting hit and I remember that feeling of glass flying past me and tunnel vision,” Jones said. “Then we start to spin and I try grabbing the wheel to keep it under control because I didn’t want us to flip — and then we came to a stop.”
Jones said she briefly blacked out. When she came to, she saw Camiyah trapped in her car seat.
“I turned around, and she was smooshed up against the back of my seat,” she said. “She was wedged so far up against my seat there was no room to get her out on either side. (Kile) had to jump in the front and yank the driver’s seat forward, so I had enough room to unbuckle her and pull her straight up.”
Jones said she carried the child to a safe spot and laid her down when a man approached them.
“I remember just screaming, ‘Please save my baby!’ and just seeing her lying there like that. I just knew she was not there, I knew she was gone,” Jones said. “When we got to the hospital, they confirmed she had no heartbeat, no pulse, but within minutes they brought her back and got her upstairs, got her stabilized.”
Jones said Camiyah had multiple skull fractures. She was pronounced dead early Sunday, Dec. 1.
Camiyah’s heart, kidneys and liver were donated, Jones said, and were used to save the lives of three children and a grandmother. All her other body parts were donated to research and science, “to still save other lives."
“Why wouldn’t I?” her mother asked. “She’s not coming back, and she could help other families not have to feel the way me and her father feel. She’s a hero. She was a hero long before this because she saved me — she kept me going every day.”