Cairo mom remembers her little girl one year after her death

Updated: Oct. 10, 2019 at 7:34 PM EDT
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CAIRO, Ga. (WALB) - The path of destruction that Hurricane Michael left a year ago has many communities and families still recovering today.

But for one South Georgia family, Hurricane Michael took something that can't be replaced.

11-year-old Sarah Radney’s life was taken during the storm, while she was visiting her grandparent’s home in Seminole County.

Sarah Radney's grandmother and brother share a hug.
Sarah Radney's grandmother and brother share a hug.(Source: WALB)

Thursday, Sarah Radney’s Mom, Felicha Carver, sat down with WALB News 10.

She explains what has happened in the year following Sarah’s death.

Sarah’s brother and grandmother shared their favorite moments with Sarah.

“This is the picture of Sarah that was in my wedding on May 5th,” said Carver.

Sarah Radney’s picture stood between her sisters, Brianna and Laci, as her mom, Felicha Carver, was married this summer.

“It’s something really special and we truly miss her,” Carver said.

One year ago today, Sarah was at her grandparent’s house when Hurricane Michael ripped through the region.

“I don’t know what time she passed away. Was it 3 or 4:40 in the afternoon? It was 4:30 and it took them till 1 o’clock the next morning to get to her,” Carver said.

Sarah was 11 years old when she died last year. Her 13-year-old brother Gavin Radney described as Sarah’s BFF, didn’t leave her the whole night.

Felicha Carver and Gavin Radney remember Sarah.
Felicha Carver and Gavin Radney remember Sarah.(Source: WALB)

“And he don’t ever really like to talk about it. I tell him sometimes holding it...but he says momma, I handle it on my own,” said Carver.

But on the one year anniversary of losing his best friend, Gavin wanted to share one memory.

“We were in the car. It was me and my dad and Sarah. She just said out of the blue, dad I dream about pigs all of the time,” Radney said.

Now pigs, flowers and pictures of Sarah fill her family’s home. But this time last year, Carver’s life was very different.

“Today, I’m sitting on 13 months sober,” said Carver.

Carver was in jail the day Sarah died. Her mom had to tell her the next day that Sarah was gone.

“We all just melted like butter. Like hot grease to the floor,” described Evelyn Keen, Sarah Radney’s Grandmother.

Carver was released three weeks after Sarah’s death. Sarah wrote her mom a letter a few months before she died. Words that would become Carver’s motivation.

“That told me how much she loved me. How much she forgave me and that nobody could ever take my place,” said Carver.

One year ago, Carver made a promise to her daughter at her funeral.

“And that was to help suffering addicts, to stay sober, to go back for her brothers and sisters because I was a little too late for her.”

Carver and her mom even have Sarah’s fingerprints in necklaces they wear every day.

Carver said the necklace rests by her heart, where Sarah will always be.

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