A Baby Trapped For Three Days Under The Earth Was Rescued - 10/16/1987

US History |

Today in 1987, 18-month old Jessica McClure who had been trapped for 58 hours in abandoned water well in Midland, Texas was rescued. The event made viewers all around the globe glued to their television set.

It all happened in October 14, 1987, when baby Jessica (as she is widely known) fell down a 22-foot well while playing with other children in her aunt's backyard. She was trapped for 58 hours in the well, while people all over the world watched closely on their TV sets as efforts were made by rescue workers, expert miners and the local to save the life of the innocent child who has been trapped in the hole for two and a half days. The rescue mission was so difficult for the rescue team because she had fallen so deep in the earth, underneath hard layers of rock and the diameter of the well was narrow. A machine that was usually used to plant telephone poles was used in digging a 30-inch wide, 29-feet deep hole parallel to where Jessica was trapped and another drilled horizontal tunnel to connect the two holes.

During the process, the rescue team pumped oxygen in the well, and tried maintaining communication with the baby through a microphone where she was heard crying, wailing, moaning and sometimes singing all through the process. The whole rescue process was covered by all media house, while paramedics safely lifted the baby out of the well on the night of October 16, 1987.

After she was rescued, she was hospitalized and later underwent 15 surgeries to treat all the complications she had as the result the incident, which left her trapped for three days underground without food or water. She also lost a toe on her right foot to gangrene. While in the hospital, she and her family were flooded with gifts, flowers, cards, toys and donations worth hundreds of thousands that was set aside a trust fund for her to inherit at the age of 25. In addition, Vice President George H.W. Bush paid her a visit while President Ronald Reagan called to check on her.

Afterwards, Jessica McClure lived her life out of the public eye. She lived a normal life and graduated from Greenwood high school in 2004. Two years later, she married a man by the name Daniel Morales with which he had two children Simon and Sheyenne. In 2001, when Jessica turned 25 she was granted access to her trust fund that was reported to worth $800,000.

However, life was not easy for some of those that were involved in the rescue. Her parents divorced years later, a paramedic who played a key role in the incident committed suicide (probably because of post-traumatic stress disorder), while Jessica could not remember the incident as well.

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Mike Sexton

Chief Editor

I have always had a passion for writing since a young age and can still remember the first time a teacher assigned us to create our own newspaper it was my favorite project. In high school I wrote for the school newspaper and loved learning about new topics. I knew I found my new passion and as soon as I stepped foot on UCLA my mind was made up. Since getting my degree I have done all types of writing and love the freedom it gives me to work from anywhere. I hope you all love my writing as I am excited to produce quality articles each day for you!