Hero mom thankful son recovering from burns
By BY J.R. ORTEGA - JRORTEGA@VICAD.COM
May 29, 2012 at 12:29 a.m.
A tired and sore 75-year-old Betty Hamilton still doesn't know what propelled her to run into a burning home and save her 58-year-old son on Memorial Day.
But whatever it was, she - and her family - are extremely thankful.
"I was just in shock," Hamilton recalled. "His hair was on fire. His face was all black. I don't know. I just don't know how I did it, but I'm glad I did."
Her son, Charles Larkins, was on oxygen at the time of the blaze, which happened near Hilltop Drive and state Highway 185. Hamilton believes a cigarette not properly extinguished sparked the fire.
On Tuesday, Larkins was recovering well at the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, family members said. He was expected to be out of the intensive care unit and in a regular room by Wednesday. He suffered several second-degree burns.
Hamilton, a thin woman with arthritis, had been sitting on the porch when she heard Larkins yell.
"He yelled, 'Momma,'" she said, her voice shaken. "I don't know how I got him out, but I did."
Hamilton, and the other three sons she lives with, Robert, Jimmy and Johnny Jones, spent the night in an unlivable mobile home behind their home, which is now partly burned and mostly smoke-damaged.
The American Red Cross Crossroads Chapter in Victoria helped the family find a hotel to stay in and has also helped with food.
Any help the family can get, they are thankful for, Jimmy Jones said.
"You see what we've got on. ... This is all we have," he said.
"You've got to take it all for granted," Robert Jones chimed in.
The family is hoping to have Larkins home by the end of the week.
Even though their house was not insured, they remain hopeful for how everything will work out. After all, the two more important treasures were saved - "Momma" and Larkins.
"I could have lost my momma and my brother," Robert Jones said. "Thank the Lord they're still here. God wasn't ready for him."