ULVADE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - She was a little girl with a big heart who was there for a North Texas family when they needed her most.
Alithia Ramirez, who had her life taken away at just 10-years-old by the Uvalde school shooter, helped a Grand Prairie couple get through the loss of their son who was her best friend.
Alithia and Nico were the best of buddies, eight-year-olds who shared a love of soccer and a talent for drawing sketches.
"They were both very kind, very caring, loved art. That was the main reason why they became friends," said Fernanda Sedeno, Nico's mom. "When we broke the news that we were moving to Dallas, they were both very, very heartbroken."
Sedeno also had to break the news to Alithia last year that her best friend was struck and killed by a car in Grand Prairie. It was devastating, but little Alithia became a surprising source of strength and comfort for Nico's family.
"I never imagined that this little girl would be mature enough to say, "Hey, you know what, I want to keep in touch. I want to check in. I want to make your painting and bring a smile to your face,'" recalled Sedeno. "That's what I loved about her, and that shows how pure and kind her heart was."
"Even though she was so young, she still had the heart and mentally to reach out and think of others."
When news of yesterday's school shooting got around that it was Robb Elementary in Ulvade, Nico's parents' hearts sank.
"We checked on everybody and we heard from everyone except her."
Ten-year-old Alithia was among those killed.
"I imagined yelling, screaming, panic. It's horrible what she probably went though her last minutes," said Jesus Escalante, one of Alithia's friends. "We lost Nico tragically, but if we would have stayed there, he would have been one of the victims."
Two kids on their way to a lifetime of friendship now both gone.
The drawing Alithia sent to console Nico's parents that shows him sketching her portrait in heaven while she draws his on earth revealed a kindness far beyond her years that they will always cherish.
"What blew my mind away is her being so young enough to comprehend we lost a child, to keep checking on us even after we lost him, to keep reaching out," remembered Sedeno.
"She was just a young girl full of life. For somebody to go in there and take the lives of such innocent kids... It was devastating,"
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