15 years ago this week, the nation watched as rescue crews worked to free a Mulvane toddler from deep inside a well.
That boy, who became known as baby Jessy, spent hours trapped 17 feet below ground.
Cameras were rolling as the state and nation watched rescue crews dig down to free Jessy.
“It's like it was yesterday….this is cool...I feel really good inside,” says Wichita firefighter Tim Deneen as he met Jessy for the first time since the incident.
Eyewitness News brought the two together with a video of the rescue playing on a monitor behind them. Jessy couldn’t take his eyes off of it.
“I've never seen it. I’ve always tried looking for the video,” says Jessy.
He was too young to remember, but Jessy got to hear details of his rescue from the man who pulled him from the well.
“When we got down there you were in a hole about the size of a soccer ball...that's how I describe it,” Deneen told Jessy.
We actually took a tape measure and put it on the top of your head and you were 17 feet down.”
The rescue efforts worked. Baby Jessy, strapped to a backboard, was raised out the dark hole and up to a cheering crowd.
“Success...incredible success. Not just me but for the whole fire department and other fire departments including Sedgwick County. There were so many volunteers down there,” says Deneen.
15 years later, Jessy got a chance to thank them.
“Without them I might not be here today. They did a lot, not only for me, but for my family. I have to thank them for everything they did that night,” says Jessy.
The rescue grabbed the attention of an entire nation. It was about a decade earlier a similar rescue played out in Texas when 18 month old baby Jessica fell down a well. She was trapped for more than 50 hours.
Deneen showed us the People magazine article, and had copies of several national television talk show appearances.
Baby Jessy’s rescue was a success story and people couldn’t get enough.
“It's not just a fire department that pulled together...it's a community that pulled together.”
Because of that effort, Jessy is here 15 years later with big plans for his future.
“I like the medical field...I really do enjoy all the health classes,” says Jessy who also like playing sports.
Just hearing that was enough to bring tears to Deneen’s eyes.
“His success and moving on in life makes it all worth it, it brings tears to my eyes. It's pretty awesome where you are today,” says Deneen.