WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A West Springfield woman reunited with her hero, Lynne Clark, who saved her from a fire just moments before anyone else realized it.

On Tuesday, April 5 in West Springfield, Susan Smith caught on fire due to a cigarette that got too close to the clothes she was wearing. Smith is paralyzed and hadn’t felt herself on fire and didn’t become aware of it until moments later. Clark, who lives nearby, saved her by smothering the fire.

Smith’s son, Robert Rogers said, “It almost doesn’t seem possible, it’s kind of like a dream state.”

Smith has been suffering from chronic health conditions for more than 20 years with a history of strokes and transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), which are temporary periods of symptoms similar to those of a stroke that last a few minutes. About 10 years ago, she became paralyzed on the left side of her body. The 64-year-old mother was put into a healthcare facility due to these conditions and the need for consistent care.

After the fire incident that took place on the premises of the nursing home, she was taken to a rehab center in Connecticut to be treated. Smith suffered third-degree burns on the left side of her upper body. She is to face a couple of surgeries such as plastic surgery for her ear and an extensive amount of recovery time before she can leave the rehab center. “I got a couple of more weeks at least,” said Smith.

Her two children, Robert Rogers and Rebecca Smith have been going to see their mother ever since she was admitted to the rehab center.

Rebecca visits a few times a week and brings one of her daughters with her, along with snacks. “Keep her busy talking and entertained.” Rogers has been taking a train down to Connecticut as much as he can. Both Rebecca and Rogers also communicate with their mother over the phone for days they aren’t able to attend.

22News connected Smith and her children with Clark to be able to thank the “angel” herself.

Susan discussed what it was like being able to see Lynne. “It seems wonderful, considering that day and the position I was in. The day all of this happened, I didn’t know what was going to continue to happen. I had no idea who Lynne was. So to finally be able to meet her and find out who she was,” she said.

Clark shared what it’s like for her to see her in a better predicament than she was in. “I’m happy to be here today. It feels great I have never met any of them before and just seeing her now, it’s just a lot better,” said Clark.

“You saved her, you were an angel to our family.”

Susan Smith’s daughter, Rebecca Smith

Clark knows a couple of Smith’s relatives. “What a small world. When all of this came out, I found out I work with your relatives that we never knew we did.”

Susan said, “It was ridiculous when they told me where you worked. I said it was a good thing that she wasn’t working that day.”

“Susan you needed someone that day and I was your someone.”

Hero, Lynne Clark

Clark hopes that Smith returns to the woman she was before the incident.

Rogers and Smith plan to get more insight into why no one had accompanied their mother outside the nursing home the day of the incident. Rogers told 22News how there was supposed to be 24-hour care at the nursing home.

“I hope that her children get the answers that they are looking for and I just hope everyone can just live,” said Clark.

However, Rogers said their main concern right now is “making sure that our mother recovers as much as she can and gets the help she needs.”