Shelby Carter’s life was forever changed in January 2017 when she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named Keana Davis.
In an instant, Carter went from being a carefree 20-year-old to a loving mother who would do anything to protect her daughter.
Just a couple of weeks later, on January 29, the nail beautician, who was studying to be a pharmacy technician, celebrated her 21st birthday.
Carter had a wonderful night, celebrating her very first birthday as a new mom.
But things took a turn for the worse the very next day when a fire broke out in Carter’s Illinois home just after 10:30 a.m.
As the house went up in flames, Carter frantically called 911 and tried to save herself and her baby.
At the very last second, however, Carter realized she had a choice to make: Keana or herself.
Being a mom, Carter immediately saved Keana’s life without hesitation.
Sadly, by the time firefighters arrived at the scene, Carter had already passed out and died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Because Carter had never mentioned a baby in her 911 call, firefighters were completely taken aback when they discovered a baby girl resting in a car seat in a pile of debris outside Carter’s window.
Despite suffering a minor burn, Keana was perfectly safe and recovered quickly, thanks to her mother’s selfless act.
It was clear to firefighters at the scene that Carter had used her very last moment of energy to save her baby.
The new mom likely passed out right after tossing Keana out the window.
“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.
Kathy Hardy, Carter’s mother, is now taking care of her daughter’s baby.
“The good news is, the baby got home and is doing great,” said Stark County Sheriff Steve Sloan.
Although Keana is way too young to understand the sacrifice her mother made to save her life, her family plans to tell her of her mother’s heroic deed when she is older.
“She was very not selfish, very unselfish and her heart and her love was that baby,” family friend Stacy Unhold revealed. “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.”