'Baby Jessica' 30 Years After Being Rescued From A Well (Photos)

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It has been 30 years since "Baby Jessica" fell down a well in Texas and captured the nation's attention.

While visiting her sister in October 1987 in the west Texas town of Midland, Jessica McClure's mother left her in the backyard while she went to answer the phone, the Daily Mail recalls. While unsupervised, Jessica wandered to the 8-inch well opening and fell 22 feet down the hole.

Rescuers worked frantically for 58 hours to save the toddler's life, notes American Web Media. When she was finally pulled successfully from the well, it was broadcast nationwide.

She became a household name, made the cover of People magazine, and was even welcomed to the White House by then-Vice- President George H.W. Bush. 

Today, "Baby Jessica" is Jessica McClure Morales. Her husband of 11 years, Danny, is a foreman in a pipe supply company. 

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Jessica still lives in Midland, where she works as a special-education teacher's aide in an elementary school and has two children: 8-year-old Sheyenne, and 10-year-old Simon.

Her adult body bears some visible evidence of her famous childhood ordeal. In addition to a slight scar on her forehead, she is missing one toe and her right foot is noticeably smaller than her left, due to reconstructive surgery that was required after it became gangrenous in the well. 

Growing up, her fame occasionally caused her to be fodder for bullies. "There were a few times I was picked on specifically for being 'Baby Jessica,'" she recalls. "I had a kid that called me 'well-dweller' for a good couple of years."

However, she has turned that negative experience into a lesson for her children, teaching them to never be bullies.

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"That part of my life made me the kind of mom that I am: to express to my kids that it's not right," she said. "My kids have good hearts. Had I not survived, none of this would have been."

"I'm hoping my children learn from [my rescue] to always be humble," she added. "And to remember that is you look hard enough, there are so many good people in this world."

When the accident happened in 1987, Jessica's parents were poor teenagers struggling financially in an oil town during the depths of the oil bust, notes the Daily Mail.

Donations worth $1.2 million were saved in a trust fund for Jessica, but were lost in the 2008 stock market crash.

But she remains grateful to be alive, and is perfectly content to live far from the public spotlight.

As she summarizes: "I had God on my side that day. My life is a miracle."

Sources: Daily Mail, American Web Media / Featured Image: Susan Biddle via Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Facebook via Daily Mail

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