To the residents of Wyoming, Illinois, and those around the country hearing Shelby Ann Carter’s story, the 21-year-old mother is a hero.
Shelby’s quick thinking and ingenuity when a fire engulfed her home saved the life of her 12-day-old baby girl.
According to Illinois’s KWQC, firefighters received a call at 10:30 a.m. on January 30 about a house fire. The Chicago Tribune reports that by the time responders got to the home, they found Shelby deceased in a second-story bedroom. She died from carbon monoxide intoxication.
But her baby wasn’t with her.
No one, including investigators reports the Tribune, knows how much time passed between when Shelby learned the home she shared with her mother was on fire, and when she saved the life of her infant baby.
When rescuers arrived to the home, they found Shelby’s infant daughter, Keana Davis, on top of a pile of debris. A second-floor window was broken out. The baby had been dropped from the second story of the home.Image Credit: Screenshot/KWQC
However, before taking a drastic action to save her baby, Shelby had the presence of mind to quickly strap her into the carseat.
Aside from a minor burn, the infant girl was completely unharmed. She was taken to the hospital in good condition and released a short time later.
Chief of the Wyoming-Speer Fire Protection District Ed Foglesonger told the Tribune:
“It’s just incredible that she was able to pull her thoughts together to save her baby. … I’d say it’s nothing short of a miracle the way it ended up.”
Members of the Wyoming community, including longtime friend Stacy Unhold, are mourning the loss of a woman whose only dream was to be a mom:
Those interviewed by local media remember their loved one whose greatest joy was motherhood.
Her aunt, Kathy Carter, told the Star Courier:
“Shelby was so proud of this beautiful baby girl.”
According to the Tribune, Shawna Burwell, Shelby’s cousin, told CBS affiliate WMBD that the new mom shared her love for her daughter on social media, posting to Facebook and Snapchat about “loving these mommy moments.”
As the community comes to grips with the loss of the young mother, a GoFundMe account has been set up to help the Carter family rebuild and take care of its newest member. According to the page organizer, there has been an overwhelming outpouring of support.
The Star Courier reports that following the loss of her daughter, Shelby’s mom, Kathy, posted a picture of her Keana to Facebook (which is not open to the public) along with two words: “Beautiful Miracle.”
As the investigation into the cause of the fire continues, there is no doubt that Shelby chose to save the life of her baby over her own. Her obituary states that she loved every child she came in contact with and was loved right back.
It reads: “Her greatest moment was becoming a mom.”