GLENDALE, Ariz. (KSAZ) - There have already been 37 water-related accidents in Maricopa and Pinal Counties this year. Of those victims, 17 have lost their lives and almost half were under the age of 5-years-old.
They are the desperate pleas of a mother, begging her daughter coming back to life. The attempts at CPR, and the screams of shock and despair. All were captured in a panicked voice-mail left for her husband to hear moments later.
"It's like your worst nightmare ever coming true, you know you hear about it all the time, and then it's actually happening in your own house, in your own pool, with your own child," said Julia Thrash.
On February 25, just before Noon, Thrash was in the middle of an intense battle with the flu. She left her 1-year-old Jayah to watch TV while she went to the bathroom, but minutes later she realized her daughter was gone.
"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. It's the worst panic and anxiety and fear and everything all at one time," said Thrash.
She rushed to the pool and brought her lifeless baby inside. She tried desperately to undo the more than five minutes underwater.
"I know I picked her up several times, and I was just screaming to her Jayah wake up come back. And nothing. She was lifeless; she was freezing," said Thrash.
Julia ran to her phone and tried to call emergency crews for help, in her panic she left the chilling voicemail and took unintended selfies while trying to dial 9-1-1.
"It's horrifying, you see what I went through, and it's the worst thing ever. You know as a parent, thinking that I was responsible for her, and she got into the pool, and now she's laying here, and it's everything I was feeling," she said.
That guilt and fear never subsided as she got a hold of an emergency dispatcher. First responders sped to her home, took over CPR, and tried reviving baby Jayah as her helpless mother waited terrified in another room.
"He said they're working on her, you know, he held me, and he said, they're working on her," said Thrash.
That work seemingly was not enough as doctors at Banner Thunderbird pronounced Jayah dead an hour and a half later. Her death was being investigated as a homicide, keeping Julia and her husband Justin from going anywhere near their daughter's body.
"It was the worst thing, seeing her laying there, and I couldn't hold her, I couldn't touch her, I couldn't do anything, it was hard," said Thrash.
The grim reality sank in as the minutes slowly ticked by. But then something unexplainable happened that to this day has left everyone stunned.
"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," she said.
But as nurses were calling the medical examiner's office to take her body away, out of nowhere Jayah let out a cough and somehow came back to life.
"She had a bounding pulse, her heart just started beating, just like that. She had been laying on the table, and she just started beating again," said Thrash.
The fight for her life was starting over with a newfound fervor. She dipped in and out of death during a helicopter ride to Phoenix Children's Hospital but held on as staff worked for days while urging her parents to be cautiously optimistic.
"They really didn't think that she would ever recover. Kids just don't recover from drownings. 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? It was tough because we didn't know," said Thrash.
But the unbelievable did eventually come. The MRI scan showed no signs of any major brain damage, and a moment in her hospital bed gave hope, that baby Jayah was coming back.
"We put a little chapstick on her because her lips looked really dry, 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," she said.
Days and weeks after everyone watched as Jayah began to work, talk, and even smile, turning back into the child she always was. Then weeks later she came home and began living once again like nothing had ever happened.
"So many doctors and nurses came and said, I've been doing this for 20 years, and I've never seen this happen, do you understand what has gone on here?" said Thrash.
Jayah now takes swim lessons, provided for free after a teacher heard her story. It's now in a pool surrounded by a fence, donated by the Glendale Fire Department.
Those heroes finally got a chance to meet their miracle girl for themselves, but Jayah ran directly to the officer who was the first to respond on the day she almost lost her life. And although she was unconscious when Officer Collumn watched over her treatment and consoled her mother, the now 2-year-old stuns everyone one more time as she hugs the teary eyed officer embracing a stranger as if she always knew him.
"I'm just thankful and thankful to God for giving us this gift and to be able to sit here and say to you, I have a miracle, and it's Jayah. it's amazing," said Thrash.