Baby, firefighters reunite after harrowing experience

WEST ASHLEY, SC (WCSC) - Monday afternoon was a reunion of sorts for firefighters of Station 12 and the baby they saved.

On June 19, Jaime May said her six-month-old baby, Mckenna just wasn't acting right. "She was up all night the night before really fussy didn't want to eat -- just really not herself. The pediatrician said it was gas and to take her home. If she continues to eat everything she'll be ok," said May.

The real culprit was bacterial meningitis.

"What I've learned from meningitis is it's a silent killer and bacterial meningitis is one of its most deadliest forms," said May.

When Mckenna was born, she was 12 weeks premature -- weighing only two pounds. Six months later she still had her challenges. Later that day she took a turn for the worse.

"She turned blue. I had to put oxygen on, didn't know what was going on, wasn't taking any chances," said May.

So she called 911 and firefighters from Station 12 responded, including Johnny Hackett.

"It's about a three minute ride from us to where we need to get to on Orange Grove Road and the whole ride you're thinking, 'What am I going to do when I get there,'" said Hackett.

Mckenna's pulse was slow and she was barely breathing, so firefighters had to act quickly.

They kept her alive and got her to MUSC where she went into cardiac arrest. She was on life support for three weeks and still has seizures, but May says she wouldn't even be here if it wasn't for the first responders.

"The best thing they could've ever done is save my child," said May.

This is the same fire station that was at the center of the creche controversy just a week earlier. These firefighters say they're glad to have this good attention now, but they were just doing their job.

Baby Mckenna is brain-damaged. She's having another surgery on Wednesday to try to keep whatever sight she has left. Her family says they'll work with the School for the Blind and Deaf to give her the best life possible.

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