WASHINGTON, D.C. — A firefighter in the nation’s capital called it her own Christmas miracle. A baby she helped deliver nine months ago had to fight for her life from day one, but the little girl, Zaniyah Peterson, pulled through. The baby and her mom reunited with firefighters on Christmas Eve, Tuesday, Dec. 24.
“So when we were going to that call and we saw your husband flagging us down…” said Terrika Hooks, firefighter/paramedic.
It wasn’t your average day for Engine 19. As soon as the crew saw Cierra Duckett going into labor in the back seat of a vehicle, they jumped into action.
“My first initial thought is, she’s only 25 weeks pregnant,” said Hooks. “The baby isn’t coming yet.”
The baby was running on her own time. She was born March 19 on Minnesota Avenue Southeast.
“She was like, ‘The baby is coming!'” said Hooks. “I was like, ‘Oh my God,’ and we looked and the baby was right there.”
Zaniyah had a faint pulse and spent 100 days in the hospital. Nine months later, she’s a happy, healthy baby.
“Definitely a Christmas miracle,” said Hooks. “Zaniyah was my Christmas miracle too.”
On Christmas Eve, Duckett gave coins to the members of Engine 19 who saved her baby’s life. They had a gift for her, too.
“They did their job well,” said Duckett. “They did their job really well.”
Duckett said thinking back on the day her daughter was born makes her emotional.
“Because they just kept saying she wasn’t looking too good — she wasn’t looking too good, but we had hope, and we had faith, and she was fighting,” said Duckett. “She really fought for her life.”
The little fighter was eager to celebrate Christmas with family at home, and the family of heroes who saved her.
“She really can’t understand me, but just to let her know she was a miracle,” said Duckett. “She was saved.”