Drowning is the most common cause of death of young children. And a couple of inches of water is all it takes.
Every parent knows that taking your eye off your child for a few seconds could be the difference between life and death.
Additionally, most drownings occur in the familiar surroundings, such as in the family pool.
But when a mom named Julia made a quick visit to the bathroom while her daughter Jayah was watching TV, she never could have imagined that her daughter would soon be a gloomy statistic.
Julia had been fighting a stubborn flu and needed to go the bathroom.
Meanwhile, her daughter, Jayah, was sitting in front of the TV in the living room.
But when Julia returned a few minutes later, her daughter was nowhere to be seen. And when Julia saw that the back door was open, her heart leaped up into her throat.
Julia immediately realized that Jayah had gone into the backyard, where there’s an inground pool.
Julia tells Fox 10 that she ran straight outside and came across the most horrifying sight.
Julia’s daughter was floating face down in the pool. The terrified mom started screaming and immediately pulled her beloved girl from the water. Jayah probably had spent about 5 minutes in the pool.
“It’s the worst panic and anxiety and fear and everything all at one time.”
Julia rushed Jayah inside and called emergency services, while simultaneously performing CPR on her daughter.
“It’s horrifying, you see what I went through, and it’s the worst thing ever. You know as a parent, thinking that I was responsible for her, and she got into the pool, and now she’s laying here, and it’s everything I was feeling.”
The dispatchers on the other end heard Julia’s desperately screaming, “Jayah wake up! Come back!”
But little Jayah’s body remained lifeless and cold.
When the first ambulance arrived at the house, Julia sat in an adjacent room, while the healthcare workers worked fervently to revive her child. Jayah was then transported to Banner Thunderbird Medical Center, where doctors gave her a devastating message: “We’re sorry, there’s nothing more we can do.”
Jayah was declared dead one and a half hours after her mom found her in the family pool.
But then, the medical team came with some shocking news.
A doctor entered the waiting room and informed the family that things suddenly changed. Jayah was breathing!
Julia tells Fox 10, “I just looked at her like I didn’t understand what language she was speaking, because we had for an hour been sitting there, told our baby was gone.”
When some nurses went in the room to pick up Jayah’s body to bring her to the medical examiner for an autopsy, the child suddenly coughed. Then the staff realized that she had come back to life.
“She had a bounding pulse, her heart just started beating, just like that. She had been laying on the table, and she just started beating again.”
Jayah was flown by helicopter ambulance to Phoenix Children’s Hospital, where she floated between life and death.
Medical experts warned Julia and Justin not to be optimistic considering how long Jayah had been without a pulse.
“They really didn’t think that she would ever recover. Kids just don’t recover from drownings.”
Even if things were improving by the hour, there was constant concern.
“It was awful to sit and see her like that and not know, is her brain going to work? Is she ever going to be okay? Will she ever talk again? Will she ever do anything like she did before? It was tough because we didn’t know,” Julia says.
To the great joy of the Julia and Justin, an MRI showed no evidence of major brain injuries.
Then when Julia put lip gloss on Jayah’s lips, she responded by licking her lips.
It took a long time before Jayah was back to her usual self. She had to learn how to walk, talk and laugh again.
Then after several weeks in the hospital, Jayah was finally ready to return home. According to Julia, doctors and nurses with 20 years of experience said that they had never seen anything like it.
Jayah’s parents are well aware of what a miracle she is. And when they reunited with the initial first responder who arrived on the scene that day, even that grown man had tears in his eyes.
Julia says, “I’m just thankful and thankful to God for giving us this gift and to be able to sit here and say to you, I have a miracle, and it’s Jayah. it’s amazing.”
Julia still has feelings of guilt, but she hopes her story can make others think.
The most important advice she has is to never leave a child alone in or near water. Small children shouldn’t be left alone in the bathtub, even for a short while, to answer the phone or do anything else out of eyesight.
Don’t let another child watch a toddler in the tub, but always make sure there’s always an adult with the child.
Julia knew her story had to be shared, and we’re so glad she told it.
Thankfully, her daughter is alive and well and has a full life to look forward to.
No one should ever drown in the family pool. Share if you also want to warn others so this never happens again!