A nanny is being called a hero after she used her body to protect two children from an erratic driver who jumped the sidewalk in a Washington D.C. neighborhood.
Marina Fuentes opened up about her near-death experience from her hospital bed on Wednesday, revealing to NBC affiliate WRC-TV that despite recovering from her injuries, she does believe she is forever impacted by the hit-and-run accident.
“I feel like my life is ended,” she told the outlet. “I feel I’m not going to have the same quality of life after this.”
The incident happened in Mount Pleasant on Sept. 15 while Fuentes was caring for two children, ages 2 and 7. As the three were walking down the sidewalk, a suspect driving a stolen car (owned by delivery food driver, Denis Miranda) came right toward them, according to the local outlet and a press release from the Metropolitan Police Department.
Fuentes, without hesitation, revealed she risked her life by jumping in front of a car to shield the children.
“I got in front of the little girl, and I hear a bump in the back,” she recalled how despite suffering broken bones after the collision, she remained on the children. “I look down and got the stroller with baby and wrapped it with my hands, with my arms to my chest,” she added.
In video footage released by the Metropolitan Police Department showed the suspect fleeing from the scene after the crash and running down the sidewalk. According to officials, he has not yet been identified and no arrests have been made. WRC-TV reported how the children were also not seriously injured in the incident due in part to Fuentes.
A GoFundMe page was set up in the wake of the crash to help Fuentes with her mortgage, medical expenses, and other living costs.
Claire Keller, who organized the page for Fuentes, shared how the nanny used to care for her when she was a child.
“She loves the kids she takes care of, and we all know it,” Keller explained of Fuentes. “She is extremely protective of the kids in her care.”
“She was basically my third parent,” she continued. “I felt like it was my responsibility to take care of her the way anyone would someone they’re that close to is injured.”
On the GoFundMe page, which has raised over $32,000 so far, Keller said Fuentes “suffered multiple broken bones and needs several surgeries, but fortunately, the doctors think she will be able to mostly recover in about six months.”
While she continues to recover from the incident, Fuentes revealed to WRC-TV how the support she has received has made her feel loved and inspired to continue on.
“That’s made me so happy and gives me energy too,” she said.
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