Posted on January 22, 2018
Firefighter Scott Stroup, who has been a firefighter for 26 years, caught the 5-year-old girl Destiny Nelson who was thrown to safety from the third-floor balcony of a burning apartment building earlier this month. "My heart's filled," he said after reuniting with the gild and her family. The harrowing incident was caught on high-definition helmet-camera video.
"America heard what we were dealing with right there," Captain Scott Stroup of the Dekalb County Fire Rescue Department, who can be seen in the video catching the child as she falls, told ABC News of the incident. "When you hear children screaming, that right there amps up the adrenaline."
Stroup added that while this incident was caught on camera and he shared, "all too often in this job, firefighters do remarkable things every day." He said that the meeting with the girl's family again, made this incident so special to him.
"Very seldom do we get to make that personal connection, and this right here, if I retire today I would have had a fulfilled career," Stroup said. "To see the family, and how appreciative they are, and see the children playing with their siblings, my heart's filled."
Djuana Nelson told ABC News that the meeting with Stroup has brought some "healing" for Destiny. Destiny is still struggling to understand and recover from this incident.
"It started some healing for my family," Nelson told ABC News. "Most of all, it brought some clarity to my daughter...because all she keeps talking about is, 'Daddy threw me, and fire and Daddy being hurt,' so she doesn't quite understand."
Nelson added that she hopes the meeting with Stroup helped her daughter understand, "That her daddy wasn't trying to hurt her; he was trying to save her life."
Stroup's reunion with Destiny aired on "Good Morning America". "It is so good to see you and see that you’re okay,” said Stroup to Destiny.
"I want to tell you something, okay? Do you know how brave your daddy is?" Scott added. "He’s very very brave. He loves you very much. Your daddy saved your life."
Nelson's family members are raising funds through a Go Fund Me campaign to help support the family, and specifically help them find a new place to live, to rebuild their lives after the emotional fire incident.