LILBURN, Ga. - For many, Christmas week is a time to count your blessings, to realize for a lot of people the trials of this year could have been much worse.
A DeKalb County family vows to count their little blessing every day.
"This is a very special Christmas for us because of all we’ve gone through," said Chrys Yvette.
Cea Anderson is now 8 months old. She was born in the middle of the night, in the middle of a car accident, in the middle of a pandemic. And she is thriving.
In a way, you could say that about all of us in 2020.
The accident scene April 13 in Lilburn.
Last spring, just as the world began grappling with a disease no one quite understood, Yvette was just focused on getting her pregnant daughter to the hospital.
Crystan Dve was in labor. The baby was coming. And in the wake of a pre-dawn storm, the slick surface of Highway 29 was primed for tragedy.
Eleven miles from the hospital, Yvette’s SUV hydroplaned, only coming to a stop after crashing into a side entrance of a Hindu Temple.
In the middle of all that, Crystan gave birth to her baby. A baby they could not find.
Three Lilburn police officers searched in the darkness for a newborn baby. They found her alive wedged under a back seat.
"We’re trying to get to the hospital to give birth," Yvette told the responding Lilburn police officers.
"Where’s the baby at?" one asked.
"We don’t know!" cried Yvette. "I was just trying to get to the hospital!"
"Where was the baby at?" the cops asked again.
"In her womb!" Yvette screamed. "She was giving birth!"
"I had to tell myself 'They’re going to find her,'" Crystan told FOX 5. "She’s going to be OK."
"Our concern was whether the baby got tossed into the backseat or got tossed through the window," explained Lilburn Officer Danny Bride days later.
So they searched through the muddy darkness with their flashlights. But the baby wasn’t there. And then…
"Hey, look in that car and see if you can find that baby," one officer told the other.
"So let’s just look up under the seat," officer Cepeda Huff said he remembered thinking.
And there she was. Rolled under the seat. Safe. A survivor.
Police discover Cea Anderson under a seat, the umbilical cord still attached.
"Every time we look at Cea, we see a miracle," said Yvette.
A 2020 miracle that came into this world in a dangerous way and at a scary time. But she’s ok now. Thriving even.
And with a COVID-19 vaccine now here, maybe soon, we all will be too.
Cea's family has rarely ventured out in 2020, but they say they value this Christmas season more than any other.
"Most people if you have gratitude — because you don’t ever know what might come the next day," observed Yvette. "Because we didn’t literally know we were all going to be locked down for the whole summer until now and then look — now there’s a vaccine. And we have Cea to remind us every day."
So count your blessings this time of year.
Like an 8-month old little girl marveling at the lights of her first Christmas, you also survived a wild ride called 2020.
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