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Young mother loses use of legs to save son from fire

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“I kissed him, I told him I loved him, and then I jumped with him out the window.”

Christina Simoes, a 23-year-old mom from Massachusetts, was left unable to use her legs after jumping from her home – on the third floor of her building – to save her 18-month-old son from a raging fire. Even while unable to walk, she affirmed that she could think of no better way to make sense of her life than to save her little one’s. She has given him life, for the second time.

“I kissed him, I told him I loved him and I jumped with him out the window.” Christina Simoes was clear what she had to do when she awoke in the night to see that flames and smoke had invaded her home. She and her son Camron, 18 months old, were trapped in her bedroom when a terrible fire broke out in their building. She could not wait for help to come; there was no time. She realized immediately that the only possible way out was through the window.

She took the child in her arms and jumped. The fall was more than 30 feet, so Christina tried to cushion the fall with her body, using her arms to protect her son. The little one was unharmed, but Christina broke several vertebrae and lost feeling in her legs immediately upon impact. With superhuman strength, in her injured condition, Christina managed to drag the little one out of reach of the burning debris that was beginning to fall. Shortly after, the two were found and taken to a nearby hospital.

After an initial surgery that lasted more than six hours, Christina was stabilized and began a long process of recovery and rehabilitation, always accompanied by her little one. Now, with Camron and his father, a new life begins for her – very different from the one she led a few hours before the fire, but nonetheless full of meaning: “I would do it again, of course. All the pain I have to go through now is worth it to see my son run around safe and sound,” she told interviewers.

Christina’s family and friends have organized fundraisers for the young parents, who do not have insurance to cover the high costs of Christina’s new situation. Although many call her a heroine, she insists: “I’m just a mother.” Happily, the latest updates on her Gofundme page indicate that, with time and much medical help, Christina has regained the use of her legs and is able to walk again.

This article was adapted from an article appearing on the Spanish-language Aleteia site, which can be seen here.

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