MILWAUKEE, Wisc. (TMJ4) — A little boy has been reunited with his teddy bear thanks to a clever social media post by Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport.
After throwing his teddy bear up into the rafters, five-year-old Ezekiel Burnett thought he would never see it again.
That all changed, however, when a social media post from the airport went viral.
“I’m so happy!” said Ezekiel.
Ezekiel threw the bear when the family was in town for a Thanksgiving trip. The stuffed animal wasn’t found until early January. The airport shared Teddy’s face with the world and the response was massive.
“The bear actually reached 1.9 million people on Facebook, 1.8 million people on TikTok and more than 400,000 people on Twitter. In total, this story about Ezekiel’s lost bear was followed by more than 4 million people around the globe,” said Harold Mester, director of public affairs and marketing at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport.
Southwest Airlines flew the family from Dallas to Milwaukee for the reunion.
The story tugged at the world’s heartstrings after some comments pointed out that the bear is sometimes given to children with heart defects.
While Ezekiel doesn’t have that health concern, his father says they are grateful that the story raised awareness about the issue.
“We're just a lucky vessel to help other people out. We're fortunate to have a child that’s, you know, 100% healthy, but to raise awareness for children with that sort of disease; we can't fathom that those kinds of families go through and families that have lost children that have gone through that. And so just to be able to raise awareness and support as well, it's huge; I can't even put into words,” said David Burnett, Ezekiel’s father.
As they head back home to Dallas, Ezekiel’s father said he will make sure his son hold onto the bear the entire time.
This story was originally reported by Elaine Rojas-Castillo on tmj4.com.