'Happy': 5-year-old boy reunited with teddy bear lost at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Remember the story about the lost teddy bear at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport and the push to find its family? Thanks to millions of people online, the airport and Southwest Airlines they met again on Tuesday, Feb. 15.
"Happy," Ezekiel Burnett, 5, said to media at the airport.
The power of social media made this moment happen.
"He got this bear when he was born," David Burnett, Ezekiel's father, said.
The Burnett's live near Dallas, and saw the story about his bear online.
"So the days leading up to this, he's been talking about it every single day. We wake up and he's like, 'are we going to Wisconsin today?'"
He explained that they were visiting his wife's family in Oconomowoc this past Thanksgiving.
While awaiting their flight, Ezekiel tossed his bear too high and it got stuck in the rafters at the airport.
"And I looked at it and I said, nope that's there. It's not coming back down," Burnett explained.
But eventually it did come down.
And on Jan. 4, airport staff added Teddy to their growing crew of stuffed animals left behind.
Then, like with the others, they posted the bear on social media.
"The bear actually reached 1.9 million people on Facebook, 1.8 million people on TikTok and more than 400,000 people on Twitter," Harold Mester, Director of Public Affairs and Marketing, Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport said. "In total this story, about Ezekiel's lost bear, was followed by more than four million people around the globe. And now as a result, MKE has more TikTok followers than any other airport in the world."
Because of its red heart, many noted the bear could have belonged to a child with congenital heart problems.
Thankfully, Ezekiel is a healthy child who just wanted a new friend.
"We can't fathom what those kind of families go through," Burnett said. "And so, just to be able to raise awareness, and support as well, it's huge."
The airport gave Ezekiel another bear as a gift. So, now he'll have "Original Teddy" and "Pilot Teddy" to keep him company.