PONTIAC, Mich. (FOX 2) - Connie Smith is in the fight of her life. She’s on a long road to recovery after her boyfriend, James Montgomery, allegedly poured brandy on her and then set her on fire.
Her family doesn't know why her boyfriend attacked her. All they can reason is that there was clearly something in his character that Connie could not see.
“Almost seems like we're in a nightmare. You know, I keep shaking myself, this can't be happening,” Beatrice Wright, Smith's aunt, said.
Smith, 53, is at Detroit Receiving Hospital; her family says she’ll be there for at least another two months. She'll soon undergo her third surgery. Meanwhile, Montgomery is now charged with assault with an attempt to murder.
“Right now Connie is stable. She is in a lot of pain. She had some skin grafts done last week and they're having some issues regulating her blood pressure,” her brother Edward Galloway said.
Her family members say say few people are more generous or dedicated than Smith.
Smith, disabled from a hip injury she suffered as a teenager, works part time with the Pontiac School District as a building helper.
“A teacher has an emergency, 'Watch my class.' She runs the literacy book sale, Scholastic book fair. She pops popcorn every Friday and funds the field day, funds the appreciation of teachers, the kids call her Ms. Connie,” Wright said.
Taylor Smith calls her mom. He’s a student at Oakland University and is dealing with his mother’s brutal attack as well as he can.
“So he's been focusing on school and taking care of things back at their home. So, like I said, he's resilient and he's battling through it,” Galloway said.
Smith’s family started a GoFundMe campaign to help cover her medical costs and help her get back on her feet once she leaves the hospital.
She's a fighter, so she's definitely fighting through it and we're looking for everything to work out the way God wants it to,” Galloway said.
As for James Montgomery, if convicted of assault with intent to murder he could spend the rest of his life behind bars.