When you’re a parent, you tend to learn as you go, particularly with your first kid. But one tiny mistake can lead to a horrific domino effect that can turn your life into a nightmare. Just ask one family who learned this lesson the hard way, but unlike other similar stories, this ending has a twist.
Julia Thrash felt like her life had ended when she heard about what had happened to her daughter. Her biggest fear had become a reality, and it was all thanks to a simple oversight. As she tried dealing with the circumstances, something unusual happened that had experts totally baffled by the chain of events and the outcome.
A couple of months ago, Julia caught the flu. She was alone at home with her one-year-old daughter Jayah, who was watching television. Then Julia had to go to the restroom, so she walked away for a few minutes. She hadn’t realized that a normal day would turn to tragedy after she stepped out of her living room.
When Julia walked back to the living room, she was shocked by the fact that Jayah was gone. Then, she looked towards the back door and noticed that it was opened. Jayah had learned how to take short steps, so Julia figured she’d gone out, and she panicked because she knew what was out there.
The Thrash family live in Arizona, which gets really hot in the summer. So, naturally, the middle-class family had a pool in the back. Julia ran out to look for her daughter. That’s when she saw what she feared the most. Jayah was face down by the pool’s edge. Julia screamed frantically and pulled her daughter out of the pool right away. But she wasn’t sure how long her child had been in the water.
Julia rushed Jayah inside and dialed 911. She also performed CPR on her. The call was recorded and you could hear Julia crying and pleading to Jayah to come back to her. She also accidentally took selfies of the horrible moment. But nothing she did had any effect on her daughter, whose body had gone cold and seemingly lifeless. The situation was dire even as help eventually arrived.
First responders continued giving the child CPR, while Julia was forced to go to another room so she didn’t hinder their rescue efforts. Jayah was taken to Banner Thunderbird Medical Center to try and bring her back. But an hour and a half had passed since Julia rescued her daughter from the pool, and her fate seemed sealed.
“We’re sorry, there is nothing more we can do,” said the doctors to Julia and her husband, Justin. That’s when the couple’s world went dark and they were forced to deal with a world without their daughter. Then, the nurses started prepping Jayah’s body so she could be transferred to the medical examiner. But something incredible occurred.
The doctor approached the grieving parents in the waiting room and told them something shocking. Jayah was actually breathing. As the nurses called the medical examiner, they heard the little girl coughing, and checked her pulse. Her heart was beating again, but her pulse was weak. Julia was as shocked as everyone else.
Julia recalled: “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.” Jayah was placed in an air ambulance and taken to Phoenix Children’s Hospital, which had the right equipment to help the child. On the ride there, her heart stopped a couple of times. Julia and Justin were told to be “cautiously optimistic,” but Jayah was a real trooper.
After several days, Jayah began to stabilize, but there were a lot of unanswered questions. “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?” Julia explained. According to the MRI scan, there was no brain damage, but Jayah’s recovery would take time.
When Jayah regained consciousness, it was like a fresh start. She had to figure out how to talk and walk again. She didn’t even smile. But then, Julia was placing chapstick on her daughter and saw a glimmer of hope. “She looked up, blotted her lips and licked her lips,” shared Julia. “It was this moment for me that, she’s there. She’s in there. She’s going to be ok.” Her maternal instincts were on point.
Jayah was able to go home three weeks later. Eventually, she started laughing and playing as if the near-death experience hadn’t happened. But Julia and Justin appreciated how close they got to losing their daughter. “So many doctors and nurses came and said ‘I’ve been doing this for 20 years and I’ve never ever seen this happen’” she said. Julia knows that a lot of people made Jayah’s miraculous recovery possible.
The Thrash family wanted to express their gratitude to everyone who had a hand in saving their daughter. They even got Jayah to meet the first responders who saved her life. The child ran to hug one of the officers who was the first to arrive at the scene that day. It was almost like she knew he had saved her. Her story wound up touching a lot of folks who also wanted to help Jayah out.
A swimming instructor offered to give Jayah free swimming lessons so that what happened before would never happen again. The Thrash family also added a fence around the pool, which was given to them by the Glendale Fire Department. And Julia and Justin are very appreciative of the gifts they’ve been given.
“Every day is an amazing day because she’s in it,” explained Julia. “And I was given another chance to be her mom.” She would also like parents to know what Jayah went through because she now realizes that tragedies can happen to anyone. She hopes this experience opens people’s eyes so that other children don’t suffer the fate that her daughter almost did.