Seven-year-old Abby McCoy from Villa Rica was recently reunited with her beloved teddy bear, Teddy — with the help of 28,000 other people.
The story of Abby's unintentional virality began when she and her family realized they'd left her bear, a longtime companion, behind at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, Calif., as they flew home after Labor Day Weekend.
Eddie McCoy — Abby's father — contacted the airport the evening they returned, and again on Tuesday, but was told that the odds were highly unlikely that Teddy would be found.
Not expecting much, Eddie gave the airport one more call that Thursday. To his surprise, Miguel Rodriguez — an officer at the airport who had overheard his phone call — told the agent that Eddie was speaking with about a Facebook post he'd spotted, seeking the owner of a lost teddy bear.
"Let's help him find his home," the post read, in part, with a picture of Teddy. As of this writing, it's been shared more than 28,200 times.
Rodriguez put Eddie in touch with the Facebook user responsible for Teddy's discovery, Ann Marie Kernick of Raleigh, N.C.
Teddy was shipped home and reunited with Abby the next day.
"To say we were ecstatic would be an understatement," Eddie said.
Their friendship began when Abby was only 2 years old and Teddy comforted her when she wasn't feeling well. Since then, the slightly frayed but cuddly bear has remained a part of the McCoy family.
"She just loves him to death," Abby's mom, Anna McCoy, said. "He comforts her and he's familiar."
But this airport incident wasn't the first time Abby had lost Teddy. In fact, according to Anna, Teddy has been lost at least eight times — a few times at Disney World, grandma's house, Perimeter Mall, Six Feet Under, the dentist's office and more.
"Every time we think he's gone for good, he pops right back up," Anna said. "Sometimes I think he's trying to escape and he's just not very successful."