Amazing & Wacky Things, Down Memory Lane, Life Is Such A Wonder!

Remembering Baby Jessica

October 15, 2010
18-month-old Jessica McClure rescued from well on Oct 16 1987

Talk about time-of-the-year coincidences.

The dramatic rescue of the 33 Chilean miners Wednesday invokes memories of another dramatic rescue, that of 18-month-old Jessica McClure. Let’s take a trip down memory lane.

October 14 2010 ironically is the 23rd anniversary of when “Baby Jessica” fell into an 18-inch-wide well casing near Midland. Her rescue riveted the nation for 58 hours until she was rescued on Oct. 16, 1987.

Though the miners may not have suffered physical injuries comparable to Jessica McClure’s, they will still feel the effects of their ordeal for many years to come. It is still unknown whether or not they will have any chronic health problems after being underground for 69 days.

Jessica McClure (born March 26, 1986) became a household name at the age of 18 months after falling into a well in Midland, Texas, on October 14, 1987

While visiting her sister’s home day-care center, Jessica’s mum, 18-year-old Reba ”Cissy” McClure left Jessica playing with other children in the backyard. Momentarily unattended to, the toddler fell 22 feet into an abandoned well.

Jessica's mum, JeReba ''Cissy'' McClure, holding Jessica at a news interview a few days after the rescue

Between that day and October 16, rescuers worked for 58 hours to free “Baby Jessica” from the eight-inch-wide well casing.

The rescue of Baby Jessica

Her rescue riveted the nation and gained worldwide attention. This massive media saturation of the ordeal prompted then-President Ronald Reagan to state that “everybody in America became godfathers and godmothers of Jessica while this was going on.”

As hundreds of bone-weary rescuers and onlookers cheered in jubilation, 18-month-old Jessica McClure was pulled to safety on the night of 16th October 1987, 58 1/2 hours after she fell into the abandoned well. Amidst a huge eruption of cheers and jubilation, paramedic Robert O’Donnell carrying a weary-looking and dirt-covered but conscious Jessica, appeared.

18-month-old Jessica McClure safe in the arms of paramedic Robert O'Donnell

She was carried by a paramedic to a waiting ambulance, where her parents waited. She was then rushed to Midland Memorial Hospital for examination.

Throughout Midland and nearby Odessa, motorists sounded their horns in celebration of the young girl’s rescue from 22 feet below ground.

Following her rescue on October 16, 1987, surgeons had to amputate part of McClure’s right foot due to loss of circulation while in the well. She has had 15 surgeries over the years, and has no first-hand memory of being trapped in the well.

She also still bears the scars of the accident, and in a 2007 interview she told the Today Show that she opted not to have doctors remove her scars. She said, “It shows who I am, and the fact that I am here and that I could have not been here.”

Jessica McClure

McClure graduated from Greenwood High School, near Midland, in May 2004.

On January 28, 2006, McClure married Daniel Morales at a Church of Christ in a small rural community outside of Midland. The couple met at a day-care center where his sister worked with McClure. The couple have a son named Simon.

On March 26, 2011, when Morales turns 25, she stands to receive a trust fund of donations from well-wishers, rumored to be in excess of $1,000,000.

McClure’s rescue was credited mostly to paramedic Robert O’Donnell and police officer William Andrew Glasscock Jr., both of whom received tremendous media attention and became heroes.  The saddest thing is what happened to these two heroes. In 1995, after eight years of having suffered post-traumatic stress disorder from the ordeal, O’Donnell succumbed to the disorder and committed suicide. In 2004, Glasscock was sentenced to 15 years in prison on charges of sexual exploitation of a child, sexual assault, and improper storage of explosives.

Jessica’s story spawned a book and a TV movie called Everybody’s Baby: The Rescue of Jessica McClure with Patty Duke and Beau Bridges.

On May 30, 2007, USA Today ranked McClure #22 on its list of “25 lives of indelible impact.”

Jessica McClure is not the only child to have fallen down a well; Kathy Fiscus and Alfredo Rampi also suffered the same fate, but unfortunately they did not survive.

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5 Comments

  • Reply Wanda Maillet March 27, 2011 at 6:24 am

    I just wanted to say I remember this and i was glued to the tv back then till she was out,God love her,I still can see it in my mind today,I could not believe that a child could fit down that small pipe,well that is what it looked like to me,I am so happy that she is alive and well Married and had a son of her own,It is great to hear this. May she live a long and healthy life and i agree with her about the scars :o) God Bless you and your Family Jessica xx

  • Reply Wanda Maillet March 27, 2011 at 6:28 am

    Oh and HAPPY BIRTHDAY :)

  • Reply thina sor May 5, 2011 at 9:23 am

    i feel sad and guess god love her very much and he save her and not just let her stay there god told the people to get her out of there i love the movies its really sad she look cute when she grow up and when she was little i like looking at her picture. we all feel sad :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) : ) : )

  • Reply thina sor May 5, 2011 at 9:25 am

    oh yeah am HAPPY GOD BLESS UR FAMILAY we r happy for u :)
    =)

  • Reply Freddie gobble May 25, 2013 at 5:25 am

    When I watched the story unfold back in '87, I had a crush on the mother, cissy, I still love that look!i hope that they are all doing well! Thank god!

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