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Mother breaks back saving stepdaughter from a house fire

Crystal Dawson has a shattered vertebra in her spine and is unable to walk. (Source: WSET, SEAN DAWSON, CNN)
Published: May. 23, 2022 at 2:48 PM CDT
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LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) – A woman in Virginia is in the hospital after hurting her back while catching her stepdaughter who jumped out the window to escape a house fire.

Crystal Dawson says she was just being a mom, but that’s an understatement.

She has a shattered vertebra in her spine and is unable to walk.

Dawson woke up around 1 a.m. Friday to make her baby a bottle when she saw the flames. She and her husband got the baby out of the house, but their other two children were still upstairs.

“I was scared. I was crying,” Brianna Dawson said. “I was like, ‘Dad, I can’t get out. I can’t get out.’”

Brian Dawson tried to go up the stairs for the kids, but the flames pushed him back.

Brianna got her brother, Christian, to her room and told him they had to jump from the second-floor window.

“My wife knew I could not catch him because of my back injury,” Brian said. “My son jumped and did a tuck and roll.”

Brianna was scared to jump, but Crystal assured the girl she would catch her.

“When I tried to catch my daughter, she landed on my chest,” Crystal explained.

She said she just did what any mother would do.

“No mom is going to stand there and let their kids die because of a house fire,” Crystal said. “They’re going to do everything they can, and if that means that I died in place of her, I would have done it in a heartbeat.”

The Dawsons say Crystal will need to have surgery.

Copyright 2022 WSET via CNN Newsource. All rights reserved.