Almost seven years ago, Dawnielle Davison received a message on Facebook from Mike Hughs, a firefighter who rescued her from a house fire when she was only nine months old. She didn't even know about the situation. After confirming the incident with her parents, Dawnielle became good friends with Hughes and they continue to keep in touch.
The 1998 fire had always remained with Mike Hughes. He would never forget the day he found Dawnielle trapped in her crib while he was bravely battling the blaze. "That was a classic fire-rescue combination," he told USA Today. "The operation went perfectly. There wasn't a single thing we could have done differently."
Hughes is no stranger to being a hero. He had rescued a few people in his career but nothing compares to an image of a firefighter holding a baby. That kind of memory tends to stick with you.
Hughes attended her high school track meets and ran into her family around their small town. One day, he received an invitation in the mail to attend her graduation ceremony.
"I thought it would be really nice to have him come to my graduation," said Davison. "I feel like I owe him a lot."
According to Hughes, "It was really cool for her to invite me. For her to acknowledge me, and be happy about it, that's just really special. I thought, boy, that's one cool kid."
Once Davison heard about the incident, she felt an unbelievable sense of gratitude towards the fireman who put his life on the line. "It's a miracle that I did come out of that [fire]," she said. "I feel like I owe him so much. It's just amazing that I have got to meet the guy who saved my life."
After graduation, Davison enrolled in college and hopes to one day become a veterinary technician. She and Hughes still remain close friends.