HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — A girl who survived the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, not only threw out the first pitch at the Houston Astros game Tuesday afternoon, but she was honored as a hero by a former member of the team.
Tuesday marked Carlos Correa’s first return to Houston since he left to sign with the Minnesota Twins in March during free agency. Correa also received his 2021 AL Championship ring.
As part of that return, the Correa Family Foundation has named Mayah Zamora its August Hero of the Month.
“I wanted to make it extra special for her after everything she went through, the battle she went through,” Correa said of honoring Mayah. “She’s here with us. We have to celebrate life and her life.”
Mayah suffered gunshot wounds to her hands, arms, chest and back, requiring more than 20 surgeries. Her doctors said it’s a miracle she survived.
The student spent 66 days in the hospital and was released in late July, but when she returned home, she learned that the shooting suspect lived just blocks from her house.
The Carlos Correa Foundation, or CCF, learned that Mayah was unable to return to her home knowing about that proximity, so with the help of people, including several Astros players and rapper and singer Bad Bunny and his Good Bunny Foundation, they provided her family with a grant for alternative housing.
But the foundations didn’t stop there.
CCF said that through donors, they are going to build Mayah a new, fully-furnished home in a location where she feels comfortable.
“We try to do what we can do to contribute,” Astros catcher Martin Maldonado, who helped provide funding for the new home, said prior to the game. “I’m super excited just to be helping with Carlos. He came up with the idea, and that tells you how great Carlos is for the city – even though he’s not here anymore.”
Before Tuesday’s game, Mayah was joined by her mother, father, two brothers and a few extended family members for the first pitch. She also received memorabilia and attended batting practice.
While Correa faces off against his old team, their camaraderie and unity stays the same.
“It’s great to finally meet her and I can’t wait for the house to be done,” Correa said after meeting Mayah for the first time prior to the game. “I’m going to pay a visit and spend time with the family. Houston is where I live in the offseason. This is home. I always come back to Houston. It’s where my house is at. I feel whoever is in need, our foundation will always be there to help.”
Correa says both the Twins and Astros collaborated to make the day special for Mayah.
“I could never begin to imagine everything she has gone through, and we feel that this is one thing we could do to try to alleviate some of her pain. I’m thankful to both teams for being a part of this effort,” he said.
Before the shooting, Mayah’s teacher nominated her for student council. She was also a member of the robotics club, and participated in softball, soccer, gymnastics and basketball.
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