Here’s a stunning, incredible story that made us smile and have just a little bit more faith in the goodness of people.
Back in 1995, on a very cold November morning in Champaign, Illinois, an anonymous woman called 911 and told dispatchers a child had been abandoned under a pine tree at Mt. Hope Cemetery. Emergency services showed up but couldn’t find the newborn. However, local firefighter Charlie Heflin heard the report on the police scanner and, on a hunch, went to a different cemetery nearby.
“I heard a little whimper when I got close to the tree,” says Heflin. “I dug down inside this real huge pine tree and found her.” The firefighter found the child covered in blood and leaves, and with the umbilical cord still attached. “I handed her off to the paramedics and I didn’t see her since.”
Following the rescue, baby Skyler was adopted by Bonnie and Greg James five days later.
Skyler James is now 18 years old and graduating from high school, so her mother started searching for Skyler’s rescuer — and found Heflin, inviting him to Skyler’s graduation as a surprise.
“I was talking to someone at my party and my parents came up and said, ‘We need you for a second,'” Skyler says in the video above. “They took me over to Charlie and he introduced himself to me and told me the whole story again. I was totally shocked. It’s something that I’ve dreamed of since I was a little kid, and it’s amazing.”
Learn about what else happened, as well as Skyler’s future plans, in the video above.