ROY, Utah (ABC4) – One Roy family just celebrated Christmas. Even though it came late this year, it also came with a big miracle. 

After spending roughly three weeks at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital and 11 of those days under sedation for a subglottic hemangioma, the Evans-Baker family welcomed home baby Madilynn. The first-responder family tells ABC4 of heroic nurses, scary moments, small triumphs, and the love the community continues to give.   

Kazya Evans soothes her baby Madilynn. Soft yet rough sounds emanate from the baby’s throat. Those sounds replace Madilynn’s cry. “You miss that,” Evans told ABC4. “You might think, ‘Oh, how great! I don’t have to hear a baby cry,’ but I want to hear my baby cry.” Evans added that it is hard to put the baby down because if she is in a different room she can’t hear if Madilynn is crying or distressed.  

Back in December, Evans and her husband Zachary Baker noticed Madilynn struggling to breathe. They made appointments with different doctors before being admitted to the hospital.  

On Dec. 23, Madilynn was admitted to Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital. Doctors soon found the five-month-old baby had subglottic hemangioma which was essentially a mass that blocked the airway. To allow the baby to breathe, she was sedated for 11 days.   

“When they said, ‘The other option we have is a tracheostomy. ‘We kind of didn’t even flinch,” Madilynn’s dad Zachary Baker said. “We were like, ‘If that’s what’s going to get our baby back, let’s do that.’”  

After the procedure, Madilynn slowly improved. She spent her first Christmas and New Year’s Day in the hospital. Her parents explained that for the most part, they lived in the hospital while their baby was there.

Friends and family helped take care of their three older children in Roy. Evans and Baker expressed their gratitude many times for those who lent help while speaking to ABC4. However, with covid protocols at the hospital, they weren’t allowed to have visitors and often felt isolated from their support system. They soon found a new support system.  

“Our nurses at primary’s were absolutely awesome. We. I think that’s what… Goodness gracious,” Evans became emotional while describing the nurses. After a pause, she continued: “I guess that’s what gave me strength sometimes. There were some really awesome nurses that took care of our baby. Like, there aren’t words to say how much we appreciate those ones that went above and beyond.”  

Evans and Baker said their nurses showed their baby love even during a time when hospital staffers are stretched thin because of the pandemic.  

“We were there, and we heard them bringing in a COVID-positive patient,” Baker explained. “They had their hazmat suits or their ventilator things on but even as they were walking down (the hall), they made sure all the doors were shut. They made sure to take the safety precautions to make sure (he pauses and looks down at Madilynn who is in his arms). Because she’s super high-risk now because she doesn’t have that filter to her upper airway, so whatever she breathes goes straight to her lungs.”  

Evans is a Weber County dispatcher and Baker is a Roy police officer. They told ABC4 that the response from their fellow first responders has been overwhelming.   

For Baker, one interaction with a fellow officer particularly sticks out in his mind. He recounted: “I left baby at the hospital and had to drive home with an empty car seat (He becomes emotional and his voice starts to break). That was the worst thing ever, and the worst feeling ever. I had a coworker meet me at the house just to be here because I came home to an empty house. He just stood here, and he let me cry on him for a little bit. That’s just love, you know?”  

Baker’s coworkers also donated their sick time, and Evans’ coworkers started a GoFundMe account to help raise money for Madilynn’s recovery. All this helped because even though Madilynn is home, she’s not in the clear. 

Madilynn needs home healthcare services as well as other specialty care. From breathing treatments to using a feeding tube, Madilynn needs care 24 hours a day, and she will for about 18 months. Madilynn’s sisters also volunteered to celebrate Christmas nearly two weeks late so their parents could focus on being at the hospital with Madilynn.  

“I’m trying to take it day by day and sometimes moment by moment because it’s still a lot to adjust to, but I will say we’re doing an alright job, I feel,” Evans stated.  

The Evans-Baker family is being cautious about having visitors or going anywhere because Madilynn is at high risk for COVID as well as many other illnesses. If needed, Madilynn’s three older sisters told ABC4 that they will switch over to online school if that helps keep germs out of the house while their baby sister is healing.    

Along with round-the-clock care, Evans and Baker may need to take additional time off from work as Madilynn continues to recover. To learn more about the family’s time in the hospital or to help the family, visit their GoFundMe account here