It’s the power of maternal instinct that causes some mothers to sacrifice their lives and do everything possible to save their child in the face of danger. This young mother, trapped in a burning house with her child, took her last breath while ensuring the survival of her baby girl.
Shelby Carter, 21, from Wyoming, Illinois, was overjoyed when she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, whom she named Keana Davis, in January 2017.
On Jan. 29, the nail beautician, who was studying to be a pharmacy technician, celebrated her first birthday as a mother. Her future looked bright and beautiful, until tragedy struck.
On that fateful day, just a day after her 21st birthday, Shelby was at home with her 12-day-old girl, when a fire broke out at around 10:30 a.m. on Jan. 30, 2017. The house was engulfed in flames, and Shelby called 9-1-1.
Unfortunately, it was too late by the time firefighters arrived. Shelby was found lying on the second floor of the house, near a window. She died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Shelby didn’t mention anything about the baby in her emergency call; hence, the firefighters were shocked to find a baby, strapped into a car seat, resting on a pile of debris outside her house.
The selfless mother apparently did everything she could to save her newborn baby, despite having to struggle to breathe due to the smoke inhalation. She would have struggled to save her daughter, using the last bit of energy left in her body, by dropping her out of the window, strapped to a car seat, perhaps just moments before she passed out.
“It’s just incredible that she was able to pull her thoughts together to save her baby. It’s just too bad she couldn’t save herself, but I’d say it’s nothing short of a miracle the way it ended up,” Fire Chief Ed Fogelsonger told the Washington Post.
Baby Keana suffered only a minor burn and returned home with her grandmother and Carter’s mother, Kathy Hardy, by her side.
“The good news is, the baby got home and is doing great,” said Stark County Sheriff Steve Sloan.
Though Keana is too young to know about her mother’s sacrifice, she will learn about her mother’s heroic and selfless act when she grows up. Selfless Shelby will be dearly remembered as a hero in the hearts of Keana, her family, and friends.
“She was very not selfish, very unselfish and her heart and her love was that baby,” family friend Stacy Unhold told KWQC-TV. “For sure, she’s not going to be forgotten.”
“She was a strong girl and if she had a task she would get it done, even if it meant sacrificing herself,” said Shelby’s friend, Anna Steelman. “She’s a hero and we’re all very proud of her.”
In the face of danger, this first-time mom’s thoughts were focused only on protecting her baby. Such is a mother’s beautiful love for her child!
Images Source: Facebook | Shelby Ann