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Jessica McClure

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Full Name  Jessica McClure
Name  Jessica McClure

Role  Television Actor
Education  Greenwood High School

Jessica McClure and her photo when she was a baby after being rescued from the well

Born  March 26, 1986 (age 37) (1986-03-26) Midland, Texas, U.S.
Known for  Falling into a well at 18 months old
Parents  Lewis McClure, Reba McClure
Similar People  Kathy Fiscus, Roxana Zal, Mel Damski, Alfredo Rampi, Beau Bridges

Everybody s baby the rescue of jessica mcclure american movie part 6

Jessica McClure Morales (18 months old small baby) became famous on October 14, 1987 after she fell into a well in her aunt's backyard in Midland, Texas. Between that day and October 16, rescuers worked around-the-clock for 58 consecutive hours to free her from the eight-inch (20 cm) well casing 22 feet (6.7 m) below the ground. The story gained worldwide attention (leading to some criticism as a media circus), and later became the subject of a 1989 ABC television movie Everybody's Baby: The Rescue of Jessica McClure. As presented in the film, the relatively new technology of waterjet cutting was a vital part of the rescue.


Jessica McClure live on a news wearing red blouse

Jessica mcclure live tv rescue


Jessica McClure in her shoulder length hair with bangs

McClure's rescue proved to be a much more difficult ordeal than was first anticipated. Within hours of beginning the emergency procedure, the Midland Fire and Police Departments devised a plan that involved drilling another shaft parallel to the well and then drilling a tunnel at a right angle across to it. Enlisting the help of a variety of local (often out-of-work) oil-drillers, the Midland officials had hoped to free McClure in minutes. However, the first workers to arrive on the scene found their tools barely adequate to penetrate the hard rock around the well. It took about six hours to drill the shaft and longer to drill the tunnel, because the jackhammers used were designed for drilling downward, rather than sideways. A mining engineer was eventually brought in to help supervise and coordinate the rescue effort. Forty-five hours after McClure fell into the well, the shaft and tunnel were finally completed.

Jessica McClure smiling and wearing white and orange blouse

Ron Short, a muscular roofing contractor who was born without collar bones because of cleidocranial dysostosis and so could collapse his shoulders to work in cramped corners, arrived at the site and offered to go down the shaft. They considered his offer, but did not use it. One report said that he helped to clear tunneling debris away.

Jessica McClure smiling and wearing white and orange blouse

Midland Fire Department paramedic Robert O'Donnell was ultimately able to inch his way into the tunnel and wrestle McClure free from the confines of the well, handing her to fellow paramedic Steve Forbes, who carried her up to safety.

Media coverage

A rescuer who helped baby Jessica to bring her up from the well

CNN, then a fledgling cable news outlet, was on the scene with around-the-clock coverage of the rescue effort. This massive media saturation of the ordeal prompted then-President Ronald Reagan to state that "everybody in America became godmothers and godfathers of Jessica while this was going on."

18 month old Jessica McClure fell into well pipe in the backyard of her aunt in Midland, Texas.

From the beginning and throughout the incident, the switchboard of local media outlet KMID-TV was flooded with telephone calls from news organizations and private individuals around the world, seeking the latest information on rescue efforts. In some cases, they shared their own insight into this and similar incidents.

Baby Jessica after being rescued from the well

In 1988, McClure and her parents appeared on Live with Regis and Kathie Lee to talk about the incident.

Jessica McClure and her photo when she was a baby after being rescued from the well

The photograph of McClure being rescued fetched the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography to Scott Shaw of the Odessa American.

Baby Jessica McClure smiling while wearing white and blue dress

ABC made a television movie of the story in 1989, Everybody's Baby: The Rescue of Jessica McClure, starring Patty Duke and Beau Bridges. It featured many participants in the actual rescue and its coverage as extras.

Jessica McClure smiling while wearing blue shirt, jeans and eyeglasses

On May 30, 2007, USA Today ranked McClure number 22 on its list of "25 lives of indelible impact."


Following McClure's rescue on October 16, 1987, surgeons had to amputate a toe due to gangrene from loss of circulation while she was in the well. She also has a scar on her forehead where her head rubbed against the well casing. She had 15 surgeries over the years and has no first-hand memory of the event. Her parents divorced a few years after the rescue.

Paramedic Robert O'Donnell, battling posttraumatic stress disorder as a result of the arduous rescue effort and struggling to cope with the abrupt decline of the fame and recognition that had been lavished on him following his heroic act, committed suicide in 1995.

McClure graduated from Greenwood High School, in a small community near Midland, in May 2004. On January 28, 2006, nineteen-year-old McClure married Daniel Morales at Church of Christ in Notrees, Texas, just outside Midland. They met at a day care center where she worked with his sister. They have two children and have since divorced.

When McClure turned 25 on March 26, 2011, she received a trust fund of donations worth up to $800,000. Her father said she had discussed setting up a trust fund for the college education of her children. It had earlier helped in the purchase of her present home, which is less than two miles (3.2 km) from the site of the incident.

  • Footage of McClure's rescue appeared in Michael Jackson's music video for the song "Man in the Mirror".
  • The Simpsons episode "Radio Bart" (1992) revolved around a similar incident.
  • Modern Family episode "Heavy is the Head" (2017) Cam reveals he fell into a well the same day as McClure, but she got all the press.
  • Lucie Brock-Broido's long narrative poem "Jessica from the Well" tells the story from McClure's point of view, describing her as having a basic understanding of the physical and mythic elements of her situation. It has been reprinted numerous times.
  • In 2010, blues musician Charlie Musselwhite released an album titled The Well. In the title song he credits McClure's ordeal for inspiring him to quit drinking.
  • 2012 episode of American Dad! titled "National Treasure 4: Baby Franny: She's Doing Well: The Hole Story" featured a storyline which was essentially a parody of McClure's story, including a story revolving around the misfortunes of her rescuer.
  • References

    Jessica McClure Wikipedia