Mickayla Friend and Mateus Moore stopped to pose for a picture, on their way to a school dance. It was their last photo together.
Just minutes after it was taken, a slow-moving train struck them both, killing Mateus.
“She had the love of a young man. He just sacrificed himself to save my daughter,” Mickayla’s mom, Sandy Friend said.
Mickayla is in ICU with serious injuries, including bleeding in the brain, broken bones, a liver split in half and internal bleeding from tears to other organs.
In-and-out of consciousness, she was able to share this with her mother.
“’I remember Mateus turning and looking back. And I turned and looked back. I remember him pushing me out of the way of the train‘,” Sandy said.
Saturday night, from his Marysville home, Mateus’ father talked about his son.
“I’m just really proud of him and I know that if presented the opportunity, he would do it again, to save someone’s life. I know that he would. I love him. I’m going to miss him with all my heart,” Mateus’ dad, Marcus Moore said.
“Mateas saved my daughter’s life,” Sandy said. “The most heroic thing that any other human being can do on this Earth is save the person that they love.”
And it’s the love family has for each other, that will help them get through the difficult days ahead.
“She don’t know that Mateus is her angel now. We haven’t told her,” Sandy said.
But she is a fighter. And aside from her new guardian angel, she’s always had one looking after her.
“Mickayla is named after her brother. Her brother was kidnapped and murdered when he was eight years old in Yuba City.” Sandy added.
“Mickayla was born a year later. She always had an angel on her side.”