May 11, 2014— -- A mother is being hailed a hero after saving her 18-month-old son from a burning building by jumping out a third-story window with him in her arms.
Christina Simoes suffered serious injuries, including broken vertebrae, after she jumped with her son Cameron.
The fire tore through multiple units in Simoes’ apartment complex in Haverhill, Mass., and left the young mother and her child trapped in their apartment.
With the flames and smoke spreading, Simoes grabbed her son and jumped out of the window while trying to cushion Cameron from the fall.
“I just knew we were either going to die or we were going to get out of there,” Simoes told ABC News. “Once I got to the window and looked down and I knew what I had to do.”
Even after Simoes landed, her ordeal wasn't over. She told ABC News affiliate WCVB-TV in Boston that she had to army crawl her way to safety as debris from the fire continued to fall around her. She also tried to get her son out of harm’s way.
“I told him to run,” Simoes recalled.
The fall left Simoes with broken vertebrae, but her son Cameron only suffered minor injuries. After a six-hour surgery she said it’s unclear if she will ever be able to walk again.
“All the pain, all of this that I’m going to go through is worth it to see him run around and play,” said Simoes. “We lost everything but that doesn't matter to me because I have all that matters.”
Late Saturday night some of Simoes family members said they believed they saw her toes wiggle.