Jillian Mendoza had to make a split-second decision as she was faced with an SUV reserved with such power as to mount the curb and would eventually drive into her. She is a nanny and had two toddlers in the stroller.
When she saw the SUV, she knew she had no time to save both herself and the kids. In a selfless act, the nanny pushed the stroller out of the way.
Nanny Pinned Between Broken Windows and SUV
Witnesses of the incident and police revealed that Mendoza, now dubbed Toronto's Hero Nanny, was seen pushing a stroller with two toddlers, ages 2 and 3.
The trio was strolling along St. Clair Avenue west of Dufferin Street, a few minutes past 11 am, Toronto Sun reported. They had been tobogganing at a nearby park and was set to go back home.
Just then, an SUV driven by a man in his 80s lost control and drove up into the sidewalk, taking out a green P parking machine and crushing into the nanny. Mendoza was pinned between the SUV and the broken glasses of a hair salon, Global News reported.
Constable David Hopkinson of the Toronto Police Service remarked that most people faced with the decision would think to save their own lives, thinking they could get injured or possibly killed. "But she thought to protect those children in her care, which is heroic indeed," Hopkinson said. Police are yet to say whether the driver of the SUV will face charges.
"It is every mom's worst nightmare," said the toddlers' mom Allison. However, she said she knew their nanny would do everything in her power to protect the toddlers who escaped with minor injuries. "She is an utmost loving and caring nanny," said Allison, who says Mendoza has been caring for the toddlers since they were babies.
They treat her like she's family and call her "Tita," which translates into "aunt." The family said they want their nanny to know they care for her and will support her.
Single Mom Needs More Surgeries After Saving Kids In Her Care
Mendoza happens to be a single mom. She is the sole provider for her daughter, Ohana, and parents in the Philippines, where she was a nurse. Fellow nanny and friend Cheryl Catricala spoke of the incident, saying they had been to the park together with the kids they were caring for.
Shortly after parting ways, she saw helicopters and learned a woman and two kids got hurt. When she called her friend, Mendoza was not answering.
The Hero Nanny has already undergone 6 surgeries; three were done within the first 24 hours since the incident. She was brought into the hospital with broken bones and head trauma. A friend set up a GoFundMe page for her, which has already raised over $150,000 from over 3,400 people across Canada, Narcity reported.
They hope to reach the $200,000 mark so the nanny would be able to complete all the surgeries she needed and would have time to recover and not need to rush back to work. Though, the toddlers' mom said the two boys are already looking for their "Tita".
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