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By Matt Johnson, WSBTV.com

A family says a 12-year-old girl is a hero for trying to save lives before she drowned at a West Point, Ga., lake.


A’Jada McGuire was at the lake with relatives Sunday afternoon for a family reunion.

Her 12-year-old cousins, twins Carlton and Carson Woodall, began struggling in the water.

Tara Thomas, A’Jada’s mother, said her daughter knew how to swim and jumped in to help before any of the adults.

“That was the kind of person she was. She loved helping everybody,” Thomas said.

A’Jada was able to hand Carson up to her uncle before she and Carlton went under.

“He reached to grab her, but by that time the current had grabbed her and she had taken her last breath,” Thomas said.

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Troup County dive teams recovered their bodies three hours later.

“I’m not supposed to be burying my baby. She’s supposed to be burying us,” Thomas said.

Family members said A’Jada was active at school and preparing to take college prep classes.

“Perfect child. Never had a complaint,” Isiah Thomas, A’Jada’s father, said. “Anything you asked her to do, she’d do it.”

Family members said trips to the lake will never be the same for them, especially for A’Jada’s younger siblings.

“They don’t want to go to an ocean or lake or anything like that, because they witnessed it firsthand,” Tara Thomas said.

The grieving parents said they don’t want anyone else to feel their pain.

“Life vests, floaties, noodles, whatever. There’s no such thing as being too safe,” Tara Thomas said.

GoFundMe pages have been set up for the families of A’Jada and Carlton.

A heroic girl saved her cousin from drowning, but she and another cousin didn’t make it Family photos via WSBTV
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