Three-year-old Riley Carey-Brown held tightly to her Nummy Bunny at the Green Street station Thursday, where she returned to thank her heroes at the MBTA.
The Forest Hills girl almost lost her favorite stuffed animal on Wednesday afternoon, when the toy fell from her stroller and onto the train tracks there.
Thursday, Riley shyly handed red flowers to Orange Line operator Frank Limone and dispatcher Rhiannon Bernier.
"It was a good thing that we didn't run (Nummy) over," Limone said.
After getting the call from Bernier, Limone stopped the train during rush hour, grabbed Nummy, and placed him safely on the platform.
"Dispatch said that something had fallen in the pit, and they asked me if I could slow down and check it out, so I did, then I climbed down and got it," Limone said.
"It was sort of traumatic, actually. When Nummy fell, everyone on the train said 'No!,' and of course my daughter started crying," said Casey Carey-Brown, Riley's mother.
After realizing what happened, a panic-stricken Riley called out, "My friend I need my friend," Casey said. Riley thought her stuffed friend would get hit by a train and "squished."
"She has a fear of the trains anyway," Casey said. "So she was nervous."
Limone said that people often drop items on the tracks, however this particular item warranted extra attention.
"A lot of people drop cell phones, but I don't often stop because climbing up and down the front of the trains is not safe, and we can't exactly stop on a dime," Limone said. "But for a child, that is not a problem. I'm glad we could help her."
Riley's other mother, Michelle, said the incident helped "revive her faith in humanity."
"It was unbelievably devastating to see (Nummy) fall, and hear everyone gasp," Michelle said. "They didn't have to do that, but they did. I just think it's incredible."
Casey said her daughter was beyond excited to have her friend safe and sound: "Riley was just totally thrilled. She couldn't believe it. She said she promises to hold on tight to Nummy from now on."