Never underestimate a parent's intuition.
"It just was a little different than a usual cold," Alexis shared with E! News in an exclusive interview, recalling her symptoms. "I was thinking, ‘This just doesn't feel right.'"
Mama knows best. As it turned out, Zara was battling respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which is the leading cause of hospitalizations in babies under the age of 12 months.
"We took her to the hospital after she had a couple of complications including a coughing spell and really kind of went limp in my arms and gray in color," Alexis shared. "An ambulance had to take her to the hospital and we stayed there for about six to seven days."
While this story has a happy ending, Jimmie and Alexis are now using their platform to raise awareness. The couple partnered with Sanofi as spokespeople for Knowing RSV in hopes of educating parents about a highly contagious virus that is most prevalent during the winter season.
"I think it's super important to share your story if you go through something," Jimmie told E! News. "Kids are gonna be kids. They're gonna get sick, but that's where our job as parents come in to make sure we are equipped with all the knowledge we need."
At the time of Zara's health scare, Jimmie and Alexis, also parents to Naomi, said RSV wasn't as widely known as it is today. As a result, it was more difficult to find answers to their questions about their daughter's symptoms.
"If something ain't right, I'm going to keep begging until we get what we need," Jimmie said. "If I can't get what I need from you, guess what? We can go to another doctor." He recommends others follow suit: "If you still feel uneasy and you know your child and they are not acting the way that they normally do, go to another doctor and keep going through doctors until you know you get the answers you need to get your baby back healthy."
Alexis added, "At that time, I was still in that postpartum phase at six weeks and having a 2-year-old too and trying to navigate life and I thought I was overthinking. I would call Jimmy for my support and I said, ‘Am I overthinking?' He said, ‘No! Just find answers.' Honestly, without him and my mom instinct, I don't know what would have happened."
Today, Zara is 13 months old and living life to the fullest. Mom is quick to describe her as spunky and loving while Dad thinks she has a new appreciation for life.
"It's like adults have near death experiences," the country singer explained. "After that, they're like, ‘I'm going to chase my dreams and be happy.' That's what she's like. She knew things were a little shaky for a little bit."
And despite a nerve-racking health scare, both Jimmie and Alexis want their kids to be kids and not be scared to get sick.
While washing hands is a priority in the Allen household, both parents understand that life is less about what happens to you and more about how you react to it.
"The one thing that I will never have my kids do is live in fear," Jimmie said. "I will never take something away from them because there's a chance this could happen. If that was the case, I wouldn't do anything…Kids are gonna be around germs. But are we prepared as parents to be parents and deal with that and make sure that they get better?"