It was 1987 in Midland, Texas and an 18-month-old girl had fallen down a well. In the days before viral video and social media, Baby Jessica’s father, Chip McClure said CNN was the first and only 24-hours news station back then.
“I kept changing clothes. I would borrow my brother-in-law’s clothes so I could go outside and speak to the rescuers who were coming up to give firsthand accounts of the progress they were making. But, I had to disguise myself because the news reporters would just go nuts if they saw me, or Jessica’s mom, at the well site,” said McClure.
Viewers across the world were glued to the TV waiting for first responders to rescue Jessica McClure.
Her 58 hours of peril without food or water, and eventual rescue, were covered live on TV.
She was whisked away in bandages and looked bruised and beaten.
No one would really know what she went through today by the way she looks. She had 15 surgeries on one foot to reconstruct it.
“It would be miraculous today, and this was 30 years ago that they were able to save that foot. It hasn’t grown to the same size as her other foot, but she wears normal shoes,” said McClure.
She's now 30 and an elementary school special-education teacher’s aide.
“She has two wonderful children. Her and her husband, Danny, have been married for 11 or 12 years now and they’re just a pleasant, normal, happy young family,” said McClure.
Before crowd-sourcing and online donations, people reportedly sent a little more than $1 million to her, which most disappeared in a stock market dive in 2008.
Her Dad says they're still grateful for everyone's prayers from around the world.
“It’s only been the last few years that it’s really occurred to me that that well was 100 feet deep. And, she could’ve easily slipped to the bottom of it and disappeared, and we’d never even know what’d happened to her. I can’t imagine how much different my life would be if that had been what would’ve occurred ,” said McClure.