written by: Susan Lacke photos by: Adam Finkle
The smallest fighters beat the biggest odds.
Flint and Elliot: A Family, Multiplied
Jammie Cox had been here before. She was certain of it. As the real estate agent spoke of the amenities of the house they were touring, Jammie couldn’t help but look out the window and down the street. It was too familiar. Still, she couldn’t quite place her finger on when she had been here.
She and her husband, Cory, loved the house in Farmington, so they bought it. As they moved into their new home, it hit her: She was only two houses down from one of her most critical nights at work.
“It was July 17, 2012. The 911 call came into Davis dispatch after midnight,” recalls Jammie, who works as a Sergeant Paramedic for the Davis County Sherrif’s Office. “I was dispatched to a female with vaginal hemorrhaging. Initial information stated I had a patient who was 32 weeks pregnant, diagnosed with placenta accreta.”
The condition, one of the leading causes of death during childbirth, causes profuse hemorrhaging and blood loss. When Jammie arrived on the scene, Cacia was lying on the floor, a trail of blood behind her. Instinctively, Jammie’s hand went to her own abdomen.
“Did I mention I was pregnant as well?” Jammie interjects.
“I felt like I was on fire,” says Cacia. “While my husband was on the phone with 911, I lay on the floor. I just kept thinking, stay calm, I just need to stay calm.”
Jammie knew Cacia needed high-level care, and quickly, or she would die. She loaded Cacia into an ambulance and drove her to the landing zone for a helicopter.
“AirMed’s OB team was there and waiting, and I was so glad and relieved,” said Jammie. “They took off, and that was the last I heard of them.”
That is, until a few years later, when her new neighbors came over.
“My name is Cacia,” she said, extending a plate of homemade cookies, “and these are my twin sons, Flint and Elliot.”
“I didn’t say anything for quite some time,” Jammie laughs as she recalls the moment. “I didn’t want to be the creeper neighbor.”
But as the twins became best friends with Jammie’s daughter, Evie, so too did their mothers. As their relationship grew, Jammie felt more comfortable bringing up the night they actually met.
“I don’t think she remembers me from the call much.” Jammie smiles. “My part was so minuscule. No heroic efforts, just getting her to a higher level of care fast.”
That decision, however, was a lifesaving one: When the helicopter arrived at the hospital, Cacia was seconds away from death. After emergency surgery to stop the bleeding and deliver the babies, Cacia spent several precarious days in the intensive care unit of the University of Utah Hospital, recovering from massive blood loss and lung failure. The babies, mercifully, were healthy for their premature status.
“Because the night happened in such an emergent way, the details haven’t always been clear for me. I remember hoping one day someone could help fill in some missing pieces to the story,” says Cacia. “I remember being so excited and intrigued that this gal who aided me that night was now one of my neighbors.”
Today, the Rodgers and Cox families are close—not just geographically, but as friends. There are big family dinners, shared camping trips and long summer evenings of heart-to-heart conversations. Cacia calls Jammie one of her “very closest friends,” and Jammie feels the same.
“I just know with all my heart this story was meant to play out the way it did,” says Cacia. “There were so many miracles along the way.”
“Whenever I have those days where I think my job doesn’t matter,” says Jammie, “I look at my daughter playing with her two best friends and realize—it does.”
University of Utah AirMed team keeps six helicopters and two airplanes at the ready 24 hours a day. They are dispatched to the most critical calls around Utah and Wyoming. As one of the only flight teams in the nation with a 24-hour perinatal team (high-risk OB nurse, neonatal nurse and perinatal respiratory therapist), AirMed has established itself as a gold standard for transporting high-risk pregnant patients and critically ill newborns.
See more inside our 2017 November/December Issue.