EMT Worker Who Survived COVID-19 Inspires American Girl Doll

By RADIO.COM

New American Girl dolls are recognizing women who served on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To honor essential workers, the company revealed the “Heroes With Heart” contest, which invited submissions from people who voted for a person who made a difference during the pandemic’s peak, "Today" reported.

April O’Quinn, an EMT in Richmond, Virginia, was one of the winners. She recovered from COVID-19 and immediately went back to work.

O'Quinn was nominated by her 13-year-old niece, Lacey. In her submission, the teenager wrote, “When (O’Quinn) was finally healed and released back to work, she didn’t hesitate for one moment.”

The official American Girl Instagram announced the contest winners.

O’Quinn shared that she and her niece have always been close, but Lacey never told her that she was entering the contest.

“She called me and asked, she wanted to know if it was okay, even though she had already signed me up,” O’Quinn said.

The photo was then used to create the doll based on O’Quinn. The doll features her curly red hair, a bright red bandana bow, and a blue jumpsuit with patches.

O’Quinn has since sent the doll to her niece.

“When she found out we won, she called me on FaceTime and she was screaming and jumping up and down,” O’Quinn said.

While O’Quinn is among the five winners, the other dolls include a pilot, a nursing assistant, a grocery store worker, and a teacher.

Only one of each doll was produced, but O'Quinn hopes the company will make more so other children can enjoy them as well.

"Having this doll created to look like me has been the hugest honor I could ever have," O'Quinn told "Today." "They're not selling them, but we're trying to get American Girl to create these as a regular line of dolls."

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