As rescuers frantically rummaged through the rubble after a magnitude-7.0 earthquake ravaged Haiti, a search team discovered Wetsh-Naidgie buried in debris, under her deceased mother who had used her body to shield her child.
The 2-year-old was severely injured, but alive. She lost her mother and her sister, and had her left leg amputated because it was crushed beyond repair, according to a Crowdrise campaign that’s raising funds for her rehabilitation.
Monday marks five years since the devastating earthquake claimed more than 200,000 lives. Wetsh-Naidgie was one of an estimated 200,000 people who lost at least one limb in the tragedy, according to the Guardian.
Though the little girl faced overwhelming turmoil, she's remained optimistic.
When Wetsh-Naidgie was 5, she was adopted by a family in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
Tragedy struck again a few months later when the family’s house burned down. The now-7-year-old lost everything in the fire.
Wetsh-Naidgie also soon outgrew her prosthetic leg, which her family couldn’t afford to replace. The resourceful girl ambled around without it, but dreamed of getting a new prosthetic so that she could dance and fulfill her dreams of learning to surf and ice skate.
To help make her hopes come true, and fund her continuing recovery, Wetsh-Naidgie’s family set up the fundraising campaign with the goal of raising $30,000.
After learning of the initiative, the Range of Motion Project, a group that gives prosthetic limbs and orthotic braces to people in need, stepped in.
The organization gave Wetsh-Naidgie a bionic leg valued at $50,000.
While Wetsh-Naidgie is thrilled about the donation, the family is continuing to raise money to help pay for the 7-year-old to go to prosthetics camp and to start a college fund for her.
"We could not be more elated by this special gift," the family wrote on the campaign page. "But we still need your help."
Learn more about Wetsh-Naidgie's campaign and how you can get involved here.