Za’riyah — born prematurely after her mother fell victim to a violent hit and run — entered this world a survivor.
In early January, 18-year-old Heven Rooks was admitted to a hospital in Durham, North Carolina, suffering life-threatening injuries after the driver of a 2002 Cadillac Escalade SUV slammed into her car before driving away, according to WTVD-TV. Rooks was eight months pregnant.
The teenage mother was planning to have a natural birth but, because of the accident, little Za’riyah was delivered prematurely through a C-section, without a heartbeat.
“They had to put her on a ventilator basically,” Rooks recalled during a recent interview with the news outlet. “I was driving between cars. When I was going through the cars, usually the other person will let you go through. They didn’t. They revved up and hit me head-on.”
Harrowing doorbell footage shows Rooks — who had just survived the crash — hobbling quickly to her boyfriend’s front door, where she frantically knocked to get his attention.
Rooks said she was “in and out” of consciousness and was losing a lot of blood. Duke Hospital told WTVD-TV she lost four pints of blood and had bruises all over her body.
Rooks’ dad, John, said he was told that, had his daughter waited “any minute longer” to get to the hospital, she likely would not have survived and the baby would not have made it into this world.
Thankfully, Za’riyah was born at five pounds and seven ounces. Rooks was not able to see her baby for a week because she needed around-the-clock care in the neonatal intensive care unit. In addition, Rooks was in no shape to care for her newborn baby, plagued with serious back pain and blood clots in her lungs.
Although she’s now still suffering a lot of pain and taking medications to cope with it, Rooks sees her infant daughter’s life as nothing short of a “miracle.”
Praise God Rooks and her precious daughter Za’riyah are recovering well at home. Please keep them in your prayers.
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