10-year-old patient receives surprise gift

Anaiah Rucker

Anaiah Rucker was hit by a truck after pushing her sister out of its path. Overcoming life-threatening injuries and the amputation of one leg, she and her family have a new home thanks to Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

When Rucker arrived at the Emergency Department of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta in February, her life was uncertain. It would take specialized, around-the-clock care and several weeks before she would be well enough to return home.

Rucker was later moved to the inpatient rehabilitation where clinicians, including Joshua Vova, M.D., helped her regain independence and mobility.

Dr. Vova, a physiatrist with Children’s Rehabilitation Associates at Children’s and Melissa Nalder, a clinical coordinator at Children’s journeyed to Madison, Ga., to see the child they have cared for since March. The two were delighted, but not surprised, to see so many people braving the summer heat in honor of Rucker.Dr. Vova at Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

"I have never met a patient more excited to participate in her therapies and work to get better," Dr. Vova said. "She never complained or had regrets. She was just thankful that her little sister was not hurt as well. She is truly deserving of this wonderful gift."

Dr. Vova was one of many staff members at Children’s who guided the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition design crew in creating an interior environment that will complement at-home physical therapy for Rucker. The episode is expected to air Sunday, October 9th on ABC.