WAVERLY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Many people are still cleaning up and getting their lives back together after the devastating flooding in Waverly and Humphreys County. The stories are endless, of heartbreak but also of hope.
You don’t have to convince Mariah King that miracles exist. She holds her miracle every single day.
4-year-old Ember came into this world extra early and extra tiny, as a micropreemie. She was born at just 25 weeks and weighing 1lb 7 ounces.
Ember, however, lives up to her name. “Little did we know she was gonna be the whole fire,” says her mother, Mariah. “The whole thing. She set the whole world on fire.”
Ember spent 295 days in the NICU fighting for her life, her mom fought, too. “She had a 25 percent survival rate. When I had her, they were like, ‘do you want us to save her?’ I looked at them like, ‘what type of question is that?’ Of course you are. And we have been saving her ever since,” remembers Mariah.
Perseverance is in their blood, which no doubt prepared them for August 21st.
That Saturday morning, Mariah watched the rain come down outside. Then, she watched it come up inside her Love Street home.
“I was like, ‘Ember, we are in trouble. We are in big trouble,'” she says. “The water just kept rising and rising, so I’m running frantically trying to get her medical equipment.”
Ember has cerebral palsy, among other medical conditions, that require her to have special equipment and medicine to survive.
Mariah grabbed what she could in Ember’s “go bag” and kept an eye on the water outside. Once she saw it start to recede, they ventured out to get help. “I just carried her, I literally scooped her up, and I was walking like, ‘help, help, someone help!’ The rescuers came up from the side of the house and said stop walking with her,” says Mariah.
Within minutes, crews were able to get them both to safety.
Mariah and Ember’s strength under pressure was clear, just like in the NICU, “I had fought for her, tooth and nail. There was no way I was losing her to a flood,” says Mariah.
Their home and everything in it, including Ember’s wheelchair and specialized equipment, was destroyed.
“It’s just stuff,” says Mariah. “It’s just stuff. I got the biggest prize,” she says holding her little girl.
There is a popular saying with NICU babies, they’re ‘tiny but mighty,’ and although Ember may have come into this world tiny, she has always been mighty, and so has her mom.
Mariah and Ember are staying with friends until they can find a permanent solution. Ember sleeps in a make-shift bed and Mariah on the couch.
Mariah says she’s honored and so grateful for the outpouring of support they’ve already received.
Nashville restaurant, Anzie Blue, started a fundraiser for them. Owner Marcie Allen Van Mol and chef, Star Maye, took up donations and delivered them to Mariah.
They also held a fundraiser with jeweler, Kendra Scott in Nashville.