Shelby Carter had just celebrated her first birthday as a mother. The 21-year-old was starting the next chapter of her life in Wyoming, Illinois as the mom of a 12-day-old girl when tragedy struck. Her house went up in flames, and she made the ultimate sacrifice to save her daughter.
reports that Shelby and her daughter, Keana, were in the home when the fire started, and she strapped her baby into a car seat and dropped her out of a second-story window to save her life. Later, firefighters found Shelby's body on the second floor of her house, near a window.
Shelby's friends and loved ones are grieving and remembering a kind woman and devoted mother. "She was very not selfish, very unselfish and her heart and her love was that baby," family friend Stacy Unhold told KWQC-TV. "For sure, she's not going to be forgotten."'
"It's just incredible that she was able to pull her thoughts together to save her baby," Ed Foglesonger, chief of the Wyoming-Speer Fire Protection District, told the . "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."
According to the , Keana has been released from the hospital and is "doing great." The cause of the fire is still being investigated, and is the first fatal fire in the county in 30 years. Shelby's mother, Kathy, has set up a to set up a trust for Keana; the campaign has raised more than $36,000 in just six days.