A family from Dallas has released tragic but very sweet footage of their daughter’s final moments before a gas explosion ripped through their home and killed the young girl.
Linda “Michellita” Rogers was preparing for the All-Star National Cheerleading Championship on the morning of Feb. 23, 2018, when the deadly blast claimed her life, according to Dallas News.
Ahead of the one-year anniversary of the tragedy, her mother Maria Rogers spoke out on Wednesday and shared footage of Michellita’s final moments, which were recorded on her cell phone and recovered after the explosion.
In the devastating video, the 12-year-old spoke to the camera about her upcoming day and detailed her hairstyle plans before recording a timelapse video, which is when the explosion occurred.
Though no sound is present during that time, a flash of light and sparks from the explosion can be seen before the screen goes black. Michellita’s family later found her phone undamaged in the rubble of their home.
WARNING: SOME MAY FIND VIDEO BELOW DISTRESSING
Michellita began recording the clip shortly after waking up that morning and expressed her excitement for the upcoming cheerleading event.
“Good morning, guys. It is 6:02 a.m,” she whispered into her phone as she sat in the dark, attempting to not wake up her sleeping family. “I’m going to get ready for… National Cheerleaders Association today.”
In the second video, the young girl, who appears to be dressed in uniform, turned on the lights and proceeded to share details about her hair routine for the competition. Those words would end up being Michellita’s last.
“I already got halfway started doing the braid and all that’s left to do is the ponytail — straighten it, curl it, poof it, whatever,” she happily said before turning the camera’s mode to timelapse to capture her final steps to prepare for her day. It is then that the tragedy unfolded.
The blast was so explosive that it threw their house off its foundation and collapsed the roof, according to Dallas News.
Maria, however, told the outlet she woke up to the disastrous scene and immediately went looking for Michellita with her husband Jose Fiscal and their son.
The family eventually found Michellita underneath a dresser and her father carried her out to first responders.
Maria told the news outlet that she begged the firemen to help upon their arrival and even told her daughter to “fight like a warrior” before she was transported to Children’s Medical Center in Dallas.
At the time, her daughter was still alive, Maria said. “I’m very sure Michellita listened to me,” she told Dallas News.
While Michellita underwent treatment by doctors and nurses, the family was taken next door to Parkland Memorial Hospital.
At first, the medical staff told Maria that her daughter was fine, and though they were hurt, she felt grateful they were all alive, according to Dallas News.
Shortly after their arrival, however, she was informed that Michellita had died from her severe injuries.
“I don’t have the words to describe how I felt,” she told Dallas News.
When she was taken to see her daughter, Maria said she was covered with a white blanket, wearing her cheerleading uniform with her ponytail and braid.
“I feel she is only sleeping,” Rogers told the outlet. “She looked beautiful.”
Her mother said Michellita would have wanted to donate her organs, as she previously hoped to give a kidney to a sick relative, but unfortunately, the explosion caused too much internal damage.
According to a medical examiner’s report obtained by Dallas News, Michellita’s aorta, the main blood-supplying artery, was also severed.
Although her physical injuries have healed within the past year, Maria, who remembered her daughter as “a very loving and helping person” with aspirations of becoming a doctor one day, said the tragedy has left a lasting emotional impact.
“Some days, I don’t feel the damage in my body,” she said. “I feel the pain in my heart.”
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