(NECN: Ally Donnelly) - John Simoes is as proud as a dad can be. His 24-year-old daughter Christina is the single mom who risked everything to try and save her young son from a raging fire in their Haverhill, Massachusetts apartment.
“She didn't even think. She said it was time to go and she jumped,” John Simoes said.
The fire tore through several units at the Forest Acres apartment complex Wednesday afternoon, trapping the stay at home mom and her 18-month-old son Cameron on the second floor. With fire filling the front stairwell, Simoes ran to a back bedroom window and waited for help as flames began to hit her second floor balcony.
“I knew that either we were going to die or I had to jump,” Christina Simoes explained.
Simoes spoke to us on the phone from her hospital bed at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. When she jumped out the window, she landed hard and broke her back.
Her son, Cameron, didn't have a scratch on him.
“All the debris from the building was starting to fall down on us and so I just kept pushing him and telling him to run,” Simoes recalled.
With no feeling in her legs, Simoes crawled military-style on her elbows and waited until help came.
“She's a hero. She's a hero. There's no doubt about it,” her dad said.
The young mom will spend Mother's Day in the hospital, but she says she's already gotten the greatest gift she could ask for.
“All the pain and everything I’m going through is so worth it just to see him happy and playing and completely fine,” she said.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.