Arizona mother Julia Thrash experienced what is surely the worst thing that any parent can go through. Her one year-old daughter, Jayah, had drowned in a pool. However, when doctors examined the child some time later, they gave Thrash some miraculous news.
It had been an atypical morning in February 2016 when Thrash’s life was turned upside down. The mother-of-one was suffering from an intense bout of influenza at the time. Her daughter Jayah, meanwhile, was spending the morning watching television.
Feeling the call of nature, Thrash left Jayah watching TV. The infant appeared to be concentrating on the show, and nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Thrash was only gone for a few minutes, but when she returned she made a horrible discovery.
Thrash’s infant daughter was gone, and the door was ajar. Immediately, she knew that something was wrong and was then horrified to see her worst fears realized. Speaking to Fox 10, she said, “As soon as I saw the door cracked, I knew that she had gotten out there.”
“And I saw the pool, and I just saw her floating in the water by the edge. It was horrifying,” Thrash continued. “It’s the worst panic and anxiety and fear and everything all at one time.” She subsequently dashed out to the pool and dragged her daughter from the water.
Thrash rushed her daughter inside and began trying to revive her. But Jayah might have been underwater for five minutes or more by that point, so the situation was looking bleak. Jayah’s body was limp, and she wasn’t responding to her mother’s efforts.
“I know I picked her up several times, and I was just screaming to her, ‘Jayah, wake up, come back,’” Thrash recalled. ”And nothing. She was lifeless; she was freezing.” Thrash then began to perform CPR on Jayah, but the little girl still failed to wake up.
Next, Thrash called 911 to ask for an ambulance. She also phoned her husband, Justin, and left him a voicemail message, all the while trying to revive her daughter. As a result, much of the mother’s horror and anguish were unwittingly recorded on her phone.
She also took selfies by mistake, in fact, as she panicked while trying to dial her phone. “It’s horrifying… you’re seeing what I went through. And it’s the worst thing ever… thinking that I was responsible for her, and she got in the pool and now she’s laying here,” Thrash said of the voicemail message and images.
Following the 911 call, emergency responders arrived to take charge of the CPR efforts. Thrash waited in the next room as the responders did their work, but it all seemed for naught. The little girl was then transported to Banner Thunderbird hospital.
Unfortunately, doctors were unable to revive Jayah. The one-year-old was subsequently pronounced dead, and the Thrashes were told the terrible news. And that wasn’t all; the incident was treated as a homicide, meaning that the distraught parents weren’t allowed to be with Jayah’s body.
So Thrash had to sit with her husband and wait. “It was the worst thing, seeing her laying there, and I couldn’t hold her,” Thrash said. “I couldn’t touch her, I couldn’t do anything. It was hard.” However, after an hour of grieving for their daughter, a doctor came into the room and gave the couple some startling news.
“The doctor walked in, and she said, ‘I don’t know how to tell you this, but your baby is breathing.’ And 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,” Thrash explained.
In fact, as the nurses were making the call to remove the body for examination, Jayah did something remarkable. This apparently dead girl coughed – and became a medical miracle in the process. She had somehow come back to life.
Following this incredible turnaround, Jayah was taken by helicopter to Phoenix Children’s Hospital to receive specialist treatment. Although she again came close to dying during the helicopter ride, Jayah was stabilized at the hospital over the course of several days. No one, however, could explain how the child had survived.
Despite Jayah’s improved prognosis, it was still a hugely difficult time for her parents. Thrash said, “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 was before? It was tough, because we didn’t know.”
Jayah’s parents were forced to wait until an MRI scan could be performed. Ultimately, the results were conclusive. The little girl had survived the drowning without serious brain damage. Furthermore, Thrash experienced a moment with her daughter that seemed to show that Jayah was on the mend.
“We put a little chapstick on her, because her lips looked really dry,” Thrash said. “And she looked up and kinda blotted her lips and licked her lips, and it was this moment for me like, she’s there, she’s in there, and she’s going to be okay.”
And it turned out that Thrash was right. Over the coming weeks, her daughter began to recover, starting to walk and talk like she had done beforehand. After some more time in the hospital, Jayah was allowed to go home. By and large, it was as if the accident had never taken place, such was the completeness of her recovery.
Nowadays, the little girl has swimming lessons, and the Thrashes’ family pool is fenced off to prevent Jayah from ever falling in again. Additionally, Jayah has had the chance to meet the responders who helped save her life. And the little girl actually appeared to recognize one of the officers – and hugged him in thanks.