DeSoto First Responders Honored for Saving Baby's Life

Five first responders from DeSoto Fire Rescue were honored at Tuesday evening's city council meeting after their training and relentless effort saved a life last month.

A woman had called 911 on Nov. 14 when she began to give birth at home, and the umbilical cord was wrapped around her baby's neck.

Today, month-old Baby Zoey's personality is matched only by her will to live.

"She's a very feisty little girl," said Makayla Daniels, looking down at her daughter.

Daniels can't help but sigh when she thinks about Zoey's unexpected arrival inside her DeSoto home. The contractions came quickly.

"I'm on the phone with 911, and when I come in there, out comes the head," said Tracy Daniels, Zoey's grandmother.

Makayla Daniels knew something wasn't right.

"I kept trying to push, but she wasn't coming out," she said.

"Her face is just purple," added grandma. "And I notice the cord is wrapped around her neck, so I'm hoping it off her neck, trying to see if she can breathe."

The cord was wrapped around Zoey's neck twice and would tighten with each push.

"I thought I was going to lose her, honestly," Makayla Daniels said. "I thought, 'Oh, my God, I'm going to lose my baby.'"

They called 911. Luckily help was nearby.

Two crews from DeSoto Fire Rescue were returning to the station when they got the call.

"They cut the cord, delivered her right there," Makayla Daniels said. "But no heartbeat, nothing. No breathing. She was just purple. They did CPR on her for 20 minutes."

Finally, there was a faint heartbeat.

Zoey was placed in the neonatal intensive care unit at the hospital and was able to return home after about two weeks.

"She weighs 9 pounds and four ounces now," Makayla said.

On Tuesday evening, the Daniels family was able to thank the first responders who saved the baby.

The family presented each crew member the city's "Life Saving Award."

"This was a once in a career kind of call," said firefighter/paramedic Douglass Compton.

Compton delivered Zoey and says the team's extensive training kicked in.

"To have the opportunity to be a part of saving a baby's life is why everyone gets into this job in the first place," he said.

"It's like they were meant to be there at that moment," Tracy Daniels said. "Just look at her, she's just so beautiful and we wouldn't have her."

Compton and his colleagues gathered money and recently surprised the family with several Christmas gifts for Zoey.

"Hectic situations bring people together," Compton said. "We definitely feel a strong connection with that baby."

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