LITTLE Ruby McIlvenie, 3, is hailed as a miracle by her proud parents.
It's not just because of how far the Mount Druitt youngster has come since she was born 15 weeks premature, weighing 813 grams.
It's more because mum Jessica dreads to think what may have happened if Ruby hadn't helped her recently.
Mrs McIlvenie was folding washing a fortnight ago when she heard two pops in her back and collapsed onto the floor.
Unable to move, it was up to Ruby to search the house for her mum's phone and bring it to her so she could call husband Dave for help.
"I was petrified because I didn't know what was happening — couldn't move or find my phone," Mrs McIlvenie, 24, said.
"It was scary and I couldn't stop crying.
"It was only for five minutes but it felt like to hours. I would have been on the floor for a few hours if it hadn't been for Ruby.
"I didn't expect her to do what she did. The only time she cried was when I was taken away in the ambulance."
Fortunately, Mr McIlvenie was working five minutes away and rushed home after getting the call.
"I thought my wife had suffered from a stroke when I saw her lying on the floor," he said.
Mrs McIlvenie was diagnosed with arthritis and two bulging discs in her lower back.
With her mum on doctors' orders not to lift anything for a few weeks, Ruby has been a big help, looking after baby brother Dallan, eight months.
"I'm a very good helper," Ruby told the Star.
Mrs McIlvenie added: "It's very hard having to rely on Ruby so much at the moment.
"When I tell people the story, they're amazed at everything Ruby did that day."
When you meet the active and bubbly youngster, it's hard to believe Ruby had open heart surgery at four weeks to repair a valve and spent the first three months of her life in hospital.
"Ruby has come a long way since she was born," Mrs McIlvenie said.
"I'm very proud of her. I know I can always count on her."