First responders ‘blown away’ at mother’s request after saving their 25-week-old baby

Children are their own people from the start. Expectant parents can plan every detail of the world, find out if they’re having a boy or girl, prepare the nursery – and yet babies come to their own schedule.

After the 25th week of pregnancy, most expectant mothers would expect to be pregnant for a few more months. However, when Kitana Garret of Columbia, Tennessee turned 25 weeks old, her tiny baby daughter made her debut.

On October 5th, while Garrett was home alone, she went into labor and gave birth to Za’myla Camilla Miracle Garrett — and “Miracle” is certainly an apt name considering what she’s been through.

When first responders got the call, they didn’t have much hope for the situation considering how early the premature baby was – she barely weighed a pound. But when they got to the house, the baby was breathing and suddenly they knew they had a fighter on their hands.


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“[A fellow firefighter] looked up at us and said, ‘She’s… she’s actually breathing,'” said Cody Hill, one of the first to arrive Good morning America. “So everything had to get going somehow at that point.”

Hill made sure the heat was turned on in the house, supported the baby’s breathing with a bag valve mask, and did everything in his power to keep little Za’myla alive.

A short time later paramedic Jamie Roan arrived and together with Hill they took the baby to the hospital.

“We put her on the monitor and realized she had a chance,” Roan said. “Cody and I started CPR and we sucked her off and then I felt her move her shoulder and we were all a bit amazed at her. And so we all had a little bit of hope and we were excited.”

“My whole hand will probably fit from her head to her waist,” Hill added. “No bigger than maybe a potato, it seemed.”

As mom recovered, baby Za’myla continued to survive. She spent four months in the neonatal intensive care unit at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital, but she kept fighting.

“My Little Fighter” Garrett posted to Facebook shortly after the birth of her baby. “5.10.2021. I am asking for prayers for our little girl at this moment.”

Eager for updates on their littlest charge, Hill and Roan checked Garrett’s Facebook. As Za’myla progressed, Garrett personally sent them updates, and Hill and Roan helped collect supplies and gasoline gift cards donated to the family.


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“We stalked her a lot on Facebook and looked at all her pictures,” Roan said, according to Good Morning America. “And then we couldn’t help but text her and ask her, do you know how it went, and just make sure she knew she had continued support from her community and from us.”

The pediatric neonatologist Dr. Leon D. Hatch credited the two first responders with saving the baby and enabling her life.

“Of her entire stay in the NICU, the first 20 to 30 minutes that the first responders were tending to her was probably the most dangerous time of her life,” Hatch said. “The fact that she got through that and was taken alive to the hospital and supported where another hospital could take over is a real testament to how good they were at it. It certainly saved her life.”

It was only fitting, then, that Garrett and Za’myla would visit their heroes in person whenever they could.

“All I can say is thank you a million times over because you’re a blessing that God sent,” Garrett said. “They didn’t give up, so I have a feeling they’ll continue to do that later in life [for Za’myla].”

She also asked the two of them a very important question: Would they agree to become Za’myla’s godparents?

Of course they said yes, and Za’myla will grow up knowing that she has some of the most dedicated godparents a child could ask for.

“I was shocked,” Hill admitted. “I’ve been blown away. I’ve never been asked to do anything like that, especially, you know, in our — the career that we have, you don’t really get a lot of feedback from patients.”

Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she has devoted herself to writing and is particularly fond of animal-related subjects.

As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn’t know exactly how. She graduated from California State Polytechnic University with an MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, and wrote her thesis on metacognitive development and literacy transfer in freshmen.
She has a range of interests that keep her busy including trying new recipes, enjoying the great outdoors, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, observing people, developing curriculum and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she had blue-green hair.
In addition to a book in the works on productive communication strategies, Amanda writes and illustrates a number of children’s books with her husband Edward.


Austin, Texas

Spoken languages

English and a little German

Topics of expertise

Faith, Animals, Cooking First responders ‘blown away’ at mother’s request after saving their 25-week-old baby

John Verrall

John Verrall is a 24ssports U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. John Verrall joined 24ssports in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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