WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Michelle Murray Garcia was happy to have her mom by her side during the last game of the season for Winston-Salem State University’s women’s volleyball team Thursday night.
“It feels better knowing that she's here and she's OK,” she said.
It's a feeling of relief the 21-year-old hasn't had in months.
"I wanted to be with my family because if anything happened to them, I wanted to be there to help,” she said.
Her mother, Myrna Garcia Lopez, and the rest of her family live in Puerto Rico and survived Hurricane Maria.
“I lost everything,” Garcia Lopez said.
Their home was flooded.
The family was forced to sleep on the floor and had no food.
“No power, no water,” Garcia Lopez said.
Days went by without Michelle knowing if they were OK.
“It wasn't fair,” Michelle said. “It wasn't fair that I had water and I had power and I had all this stuff and they didn't.”
So last month, her teammate's parents offered to buy her a ticket to Puerto Rico, but instead Michelle decided to fly her mom to North Carolina.
“You can have a nice shower,” Michelle said. “You can have a meal.”
Most of all, Michelle says she wants to use her last game to say thank you to everyone who supported her through the rough time and to her mother who's finally getting a chance to see her in action.
“She hasn't been able to see me play at all so for her to be here, I'm proud and I want to make her proud of me,” she said.