The rescue of 33 Chilean miners who spent 69 days trapped below ground is bringing back memories of Jessica McClure. Known to the media as Baby Jessica, the Midland, Texas native who fell in a well on October 14, 1987 captured hearts everywhere. CNN followed the rescue of Jessica McClure live and after spending 58 hours trapped in a well, she was brought to safety.
Although Baby Jessica was rescued, she didn’t escaped unscathed. Due to poor circulation while in the well, part of her right foot had to be amputated and since her rescue, Jessica McClure has undergone 15 other surgeries. She has no memories of the harrowing ordeal. Today she is Jessica Morales and will turn 25 on March 26, 2011. The word on the street is that she’ll receive a trust fund of donations totaling over $1 million.
Jessica McClure’s amazing rescue was possible because of the heroic efforts of paramedic Robert O’Donnell and police officer William Andrew Glasscock Jr. Both men were in the spotlight and it took its toll. O’Donnell suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and 8 years after the rescue in 1995, he committed suicide. Glasscock didn’t turn out to be such a saint and is serving out a 15 year jail sentence for sexual assault and sexual exploitation of a child.
As you might recall, Jessica McClure’s story was so popular that ABC made a TV movie about the ordeal in 1989. There will surely be one about the Chilean miners in the near future. I’ll be watching!