Everyone knows you do not get in between a mother bear and her cubs otherwise there will be trouble. Even though you may try to act nonthreatening, the mother bear in her protective state will do anything and everything to ensure the safety of her babies.
This natural motherly instinct of protection is not limited to the animal kingdom, however. It extends into human nature as well and great acts of protection, sacrifice, and selflessness have been witnessed countless times throughout history.
It is always a terrible tragedy when mothers need to protect their children to the extent of sacrificing their lives — especially if their death is brought about by the hands of another human being. Yet, their altruism is inspirational and deserves to be shared.
Last year, Amanda Mangas, 23, and her son Winston, were in the throes of a legal battle with James Ramey, Winston’s father, to ensure their safety from his violence. In August, the abusive Ramey, 27, was forbidden from seeing his son or contacting Mangas at all.
During the August hearing, Mangas told a harrowing story about how she was held at knifepoint one evening after threatening to leave him and contact the police. He held a knife to her throat and threatened to kill her during this altercation as she was holding their son.
In November, she believed Ramey to be obtaining the help he was in need of and requested for the dismissal of the restraining order. She wrote that she “would love for him to be a part of our son’s life.” However, she soon changed her mind, telling the court she still feared for her and her son’s life, and asked that they disregard her previous request for termination of the restraining order.
Unfortunately, Ramey’s anger and violent tendencies left the restraining order powerless in protecting his son and Mangas. Yesterday morning, he broke into Mangas’s parents’ house and kidnapped Winston as well as Amanda’s step-mother, Deb Mangas — but not before shooting Mangas.
While Deb was able to contact authorities before being forced to leave with Ramey, they did not arrive until after he disappeared with the two hostages. When authorities arrived, they found Mangas on the ground with a gunshot wound to the chest.
As they approached, her first words to them were, “Where’s Winston?” After that, police were able to link Ramey to the shooting and kidnapping. Shortly afterwards, Mangas died in the hospital.
After officers did not find him in the house, they issued an Amber Alert, looking for Winston. They credit the rapid spread of this alert as a major reason he was found so quickly — a process no doubt hastened by Mangas’s inquiry.
Ramey and his hostages were found five hours later in Indiana. Officials believe he was on his way to family in Chicago. Thankfully, neither Winston nor Deb were harmed.
Amanda’s father, Mike Mangas, stated how proud he was that the last thought on his daughter’s mind was about her baby boy and wanting to know he was safe. Although she did not get the chance to know for certain he was safe, she ensured that responders understood the urgency of the situation.
Cousin Tara Korney Wagner posted on Facebook, “She loved her son so much …. my cousin was beautiful inside and out… she would do anything for anyone…. she was a amazing person…. xoxo miss you so much.” She certainly will be missed, but in the wake of this tragedy her selfless actions shine brightly: a beautiful example of the power in a mother’s love.
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