Whatever Happened To Baby Jessica?

Baby Jessica is well. Better than well, actually.

On October 14th, 1987, the world got its first taste of binge-worthy cable news child endangerment when 18-month-old Jessica McClure fell down a 22-foot well in her aunt's back yard in Midland, Texas and stayed there for 58 hours, according to Biography. The entire ordeal was covered by CNN, which was still the world's only 24-hour news channel. Rescue workers toiled around the clock, digging a tunnel adjacent to Jessica's location and pumping oxygen down to her while she was singing the Winnie the Pooh theme song and reciting nursery rhymes. It was good TV.

Dubbed "Baby Jessica," the gravity-susceptible tot was eventually freed from the shaft, hot-potatoed between paramedics, and wrapped in gauze. But what happened next? What did Jessica McClure become? What real-life superheroic force for subterranean justice was born of the ordeal, stalking the caves and sewers of the American South, ever vigilant for the mournful cries of tumbling toddlers?

Baby Jessica is well now

In a case of tragically squandered potential, Baby Jessica did not grow up to be a superhero.

She did grow up to be what daytime talk show hosts condescendingly refer to as "the greatest superhero of all," namely a wife and mother. McClure was reportedly largely unphased by the experience, not even remembering her fall and subsequent well residency by the time she was five. According to Biography, she had to be reminded of the events of that day by her stepmother after seeing a news report about it years later.

That's not to say that there weren't lasting repercussions. Jessica had to have a toe amputated, now suffers from arthritis, and has a distinctive scar on her forehead. In positive news, while the well fiasco was unfolding, America's heartstrings were tugged and their wallets emptied: a trust fund made up of donations from around the country racked up $800,000 for the kid, and she got access to it when she turned 25. She says she'll use it to pay for college for her two children.

Now, as for Balloon Boy, that's a different story.