premature baby in NICU ward at hospital wearing rainbow beanie
Facebook | Kitana Garrett

Mom Names First Responders Who Saved Her Premature Baby As Godparents

Even in a modern age of advanced medical science, there's still a major risk to be had when a baby enters the world prematurely. And the earlier that baby arrives, the more touch-and-go their first days on Earth tend to be.

But while that's already true when doctors decide that a premature birth is necessary, a family's situation becomes even more scary and uncertain when nature makes that decision for them.

It's in these perilous moments that a family's supporters become their heroes and it's not always easy to predict who those heroes will be. But after one mom recently found two of them, she's now giving them one of the greatest honors a person can receive.

On October 5, 2021, Kitana Garrett of Columbia, Tennessee was at home alone while her partner was away at work.

premature baby huddled in oxygen tent bed at hospital's NICU unit
Facebook | Kitana Garrett

And as Good Morning America reported, this would turn out to be a problem as she suddenly went into labor while only 25 weeks pregnant.

This prompted her to call 911, but she would have already given birth to her daughter Za'myla by the time anyone arrived.

Firefighter Cody Hill was the first on the scene and later described the one-pound baby as the smallest he had ever seen.

In his words, "My whole entire hand probably fit from the top of her head down to her waist. She was no bigger than maybe a potato, is what it seemed like."

paramedic and firefighter holding baby at fire station next to baby's mother
Facebook | Columbia Fire & Rescue, Tennessee

And while he expected the worst, he and his colleagues noticed that Za'myla was still breathing. To ensure she stayed that way, he turned up the house's heat to its maximum before administering CPR with a bag valve mask while his team attended to Garrett.

As soon as an ambulance arrived, Hill rushed into the back and he and paramedic Jamie Roan (pictured left holding Za'myla) continued their efforts to stabilize the baby.

As Roan said, "We put her on the monitor and realized that she had a fighting chance. And as we did CPR and suctioned her, I felt her move her shoulder, and that's when we were all just amazed by her."

premature baby in NICU ward at hospital wearing rainbow beanie
Facebook | Kitana Garrett

Both encouraged the child to keep fighting all the way to the hospital and when they arrived, both stayed by her side until they had confirmation she was stable.

The only exception was the moment Roan took to rush outside and show Garrett pictures indicating that her baby was still alive after the ambulance carrying her pulled up.

Za'myla would spend the next four months in the NICU, but would eventually grow strong with few complications from her surprise birth.

baby looking confused while being held by tattooed hands
Facebook | Kitana Garrett

And all the while, Hill and Roan raised enough donations of gas cards and baby supplies for the Garrett family to fill two ambulances. The Columbia Fire & Rescue department also pitched in for a car seat they installed in the Garretts' vehicle.

Moved by the duo's role in saving her daughter's life and supporting her family, Garrett would name Hill and Roan Za'myla's godparents by March of this year.

In her words, "All I can say is thank you a million times because they are a blessing God has sent."

h/t: Good Morning America