(Photo: Screen Grab via CBS)
A heroic Massachusetts mother who broke a bone in her back and may never walk again after jumping from her second floor apartment to save the life of her 18-month-old son from a raging fire has sparked a groundswell of public support seeking to help her raise $100,000 to pay her medical bills and get back on her feet.
According to a CBS report, the heroic mother, Christina Simoes, 23, was in her apartment complex with her 18-month-old son, Cameron, last Wednesday when the fire broke out in the building. Fearing for her son's life, Simoes said she sprang into action without even thinking.
"I grabbed my son and I held him as tight as I could to my chest and I gave him a kiss and a hug, and I told him I loved him and I jumped out the window," said Simoes from her hospital bed.
She explained that smoke from the fire was already in her window and the flames were just feet away from where she was resting in her bed with young Cameron. As she watched the fire spread, she explained, she felt she had no other choice but to jump from her second floor balcony to save her son.
"I didn't think about it. All I was thinking about was getting him out of there. He mattered way more than I did," she said.
While Cameron escaped unhurt, the young mother suffered severe injuries to her back and doctors are uncertain if she will be able to walk again.
Moved by Simoes' act of love toward her son, Jessica Mortensen launched a gofundme campaign on behalf of the young mother last Thursday seeking to raise $100,000 to help her pay her medical bills and replace some of the things she lost in the fire. The response so far has been resounding. As of Tuesday evening, more than $30,000 has been raised.
People have also thanked Simoes for inspiring them with her act of love.
"My 10 year old and I read this amazing story tonight. ... we both cried. What an amazing act of the human heart so raw and unconditional ... so brave. ... So thankful you both are still alive! My deepest thoughts and prayers are with you all tonight. I hope you don't hurt and pray for full recovery. GOD BLESS YOU. ... A hero in all our eyes. Peace be with you now and always," wrote Sean Hennessy.
"You are truly a hero. You have demonstrated what unconditional love means. I am praying for you. You are nothing less than amazing!!!! God bless you," wrote Jessica Emelina.
Reactions have also been pouring in for Simoes on a Facebook page established in her honor.
"What an amazing, brave mother! You saved your beautiful baby boy! You are the definition of a great mother. Not all would think like you did in that terrible situation. I hope you heal quickly! Much love to you and your family," noted Alisa Fitch.
According to CBS, Simoes spent Mother's Day in the hospital surrounded by her family and despite her injuries, she remained positive.
"I'm having a good day," she said from the hospital. "My whole family is here, my son is here. It's magical, I mean there's nothing that feels better than having everybody here with me."
When asked if she felt like a hero, she said: "I don't think that I'm any special hero at all. I'm just Cameron's mom."