Abandoned Texas Boy Reunited with Fireman Who Found Him as Infant
(ARLINGTON, Texas) — When 10-year-old Koregan Quintanilla’s teacher asked him where he would go if he could go anywhere, the boy said he would to go “his fire station” to meet the fireman who found him when he was abandoned as a baby.
Koregan’s tenth birthday wish came true when the two were reunited Thursday at Arlington’s Fire Station No. 12 in Texas.
It was on a cold November morning 10 years ago that fireman Wesley Keck noticed something unusual outside the firehouse–a baby carrier covered with a blanket.
“When I looked at it, it was kind of one of those double-take things because you don’t think that’s what you’re going to see first thing in the morning,” Keck told ABC News. “As soon as I realized what it was, I just went over to the side door and opened it up and he’s kind of tucked into the corner there.”
Keck saw a sleeping baby boy tucked into the carrier with an extra diaper and a bottle.
“Somebody went a few extra steps to make sure he was going to be okay and taken care of,” Keck said. He scooped up the carrier and headed into the firehouse where two other firefighters were also awake.
“I announced to them that we had a surprise. We had a little gift and we kind of went to work from there,” he said. “I didn’t do anything special. I just happened to be the one that was there that day and found him.”
Under Texas’ Baby Moses Law, implemented in 2001, a person can leave an infant up to 60 days old at a hospital or fire station with no questions asked for Child Protective Services to take custody of.
The healthy little boy, who doctors believed was only about a day old, was taken by Texas’ Child Protective Services and Keck heard that he was adopted, but knew little else.
“I knew the town that he probably was in, but that was it,” Keck said. “And that happens on a lot of calls, good and bad. After we walk away that day we never know the outcome of it, so it was really nice to get the outcome.”
Over the years, Keck had kept in his locker a photo of Koregan from the morning he was found.
“I talked about him several times over the years and just wondering over the last few years, wondering how things are going for him, where he was at, what he looked like, all those sorts of things,” he said.
Recently, Koregan’s teacher asked about his bucket list.
“What happened is his teacher asked him if he could be anywhere, if he could go anywhere, what’s on his bucket list, and he said, to come to his fire station,” Koregan’s mother Rebecca Quintanilla told ABC News’ Dallas-Fort Worth station WFAA-TV at the reunion.
She reached out to the fire station and set up the reunion.
“I thought that was really cool,” Keck said. “I’m glad that he thought of it that way and that he wanted to come there because obviously I wanted to meet him so it worked out great for both of us.”
An emotional Koregan wrapped his arms tightly around Keck when the two met and his mom joined in on the hug as his dad and sisters stood by watching tearfully.
In addition to meeting “his firefighter,” Koregan got to go for a ride in the firetruck, work the sirens and operate the truck’s hose. Keck was also able to give the family the negative from the first photo of Koregan, which they did not have. He also learned that Koregan has dreams of being a fireman.
“He wants to be a fireman and maybe one of these days he can work for Arlington,” Keck said.
“I was excited that I got to meet him,” Koregan told WFAA of Keck. “I’m glad I get to come here and see everyone because this is my fire station that I was abandoned at.”
Keck reassured Koregan that he would always have a fire station family.
“I told him anytime that he wants to come to the fire station and ride out with us, or he’s got anything special going on in his life that he wants people to be there for, to let me know,” he said. “Hopefully, we’ll get to keep in contact with each other.”
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