When she was 18 months old, Jessica McClure Morales (born March 26, 1986; well known as “Baby Jessica” in 1987) fell down a well in her aunt’s garden in Midland, Texas.
Rescuers labored to successfully extricate her from the 8 in (20 cm) well casing, which was about 22 ft (6.7 m) below grade, over the course of the following 56 hours.
Everybody’s Baby: The Rescue of Jessica McClure, a 1989 ABC television movie, included the tale after it attracted widespread media attention.
How to rescue Jessica?
The event took place in Midland, Texas, when firefighters and police came up with a plan to rescue Jessica by drilling a parallel shaft to the well where she was trapped and another horizontal cross-tunnel.
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Before realizing the well was covered by rock, authorities wanted to rapidly release McClure with the aid of nearby oil drillers. The jackhammers used by the rescuers were also insufficient since they were made for boring horizontally rather than downward.
- The rescue operation was eventually overseen and coordinated by a mining engineer, and waterjet cutting, a relatively recent technique, was employed to finally cut through the rock.
- The nearby shaft and cross-tunnel were finished 45 hours after Jessica went into the well. Rescue workers heard Jessica singing “Winnie the Pooh” while drilling.
- Ron Short, a roofing contractor, offered to down the shaft. He was able to lower his shoulders to operate in small spaces since he was born without collarbones.
- The team thought about accepting his offer, but paramedic Robert O’Donnell eventually managed to squeeze into the tunnel, free Jessica from her position pinned inside the well with one leg above her forehead, and hand her to a fellow paramedic who carried her up to safety before handing her to a different paramedic who carried her to an ambulance that was waiting.
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The entire nation was glued to their televisions as the rescue took place in front of the cameras at the time since CNN was the first and only 24-hour news network in the country. Many viewers even sent the family gifts, flowers, money, and cards.
Additionally, hundreds of thousands of dollars were given to Baby Jessica and placed in a trust fund that she was to inherit at the age of 25.