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Hero receives warm welcome
TROY -- She rescued a baby out of a neighboring apartment while it was on fire. Now, Shontal Gaymon is home from the hospital, resting and recovering from being badly burned.
Shontal Gaymon is back to her Griswold Heights apartment for the first time since the one next door went up in flames. She went in to save a one year old baby left alone.
When asked what was going through her mind when she went in, Shontal said, "nothing. Just, I gotta get the baby. It's hot. It was hot."
Both the baby and shontal made it out, but Shontal was hurt. "When I brought her outside, that's when she started crying," Shontal said. "That's when my skin started falling off, and I realized that I was burnt."
She went through rounds of surgery and days of excruciating pain. "I didn't have no skin on my arms, I didn't have no skin on my face," Shontal said.
Shontal says the struggle was worth it. "I'm happy. I'm happy to be home. I'm happy to be around my friends and family and not sitting up in a hospital bed all day," Shontal said.
Her young son and the rest of Shontal's friends welcome her home with love. "I think i'm more excited than her," said Erica Garrett. "I was cheesin', excited, i've been waiting for the longest time for her to actually come home."
Her motherly instinct, Shontal says, brought her through the flames to save that child. Today, her spirit burns brighter than that fire did.
Police tell us the baby's caretaker was in the building but not the apartment. Shontal was worried about her rent payment after spending so much time out of work.
Troy police have set up the Shontal Gaymon trust fund through trustco bank to help her make rent.
The public is welcome to contribute -- but the police and fire unions together have contributed enough money to cover shontal's rent for six months.