For two days in October of 1987 the world was transfixed by the fate of Jessica McClure, an 18 month old toddler from Midland Texas who'd fallen to the bottom of a 22 foot deep, 8 inch wide well near her home. The world's media descended on the small town with the then upstart CNN network delivering live, round the clock coverage of the rescue attempt. Everyone had an opinion of what needed to be done to pull "baby Jessica" to safety but at first there was no consensus. A backhoe was tried but after digging only a few feet it hit solid rock and was taken away. It was then decided to dig a parallel shaft using equipment similar to that used in oil drilling. This yielded better results but everyone was still flying blind on what they'd do once they reached her.

Finally David Lilly of the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration was brought in to lead the rescue efforts. He'd had extensive experience rescuing trapped miners and could see that if adjustments weren't made to the drilling Jessica might be killed by her rescue. Finally, after 58 hours of work that included lowering men into the parallel shaft with jackhammers to remove the last remaining rock, the rescuers broke through and lifted her to the surface injured but basically okay.

So what is "baby Jessica" up to these days?

Today 25 year old Jessica McClure-Morales is married with two children of her own and lives a relatively quiet life near Midland. She still carries the scar on her forehead from her 1987 ordeal though she has no memory of it. Donations made in her name at the time of her ordeal were put in trust and on turning 25 she was able to collect some $800,000 from that fund which enabled her and her husband to buy a house and set aside money for their children's education. All-in-all a pretty happy ending to what could have been a tragic situation.

"Baby Jessica" at the moment of her rescue in 1987 and today, still carrying the scar on her forehead.