ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — 10 years ago, someone left a newborn outside a fire station in Arlington, with the hopes he would be provided a better life.
The Baby Moses Law had only been passed three years before, allowing mothers to leave infants, no more than two months old, with an emergency care provider like a hospital or fire station.
On November 9th 2002, Arlington Fire Fighter Wesley Keck was cleaning up in the kitchen at Fire Station #12.
It was 6:30 in the morning and chilly outside.
“I tried to clean up the kitchen a bit, making some coffee. I had a little bit of trash in my hand. I just opened the door, threw the trash away. Then I glance out this way. He’s right out here on the patio. So, I do a double take and realize what I was looking at,” said Keck.
It was a baby, just a few days old, swaddled in blankets, sound asleep in a baby carrier.
“I just checked him out to make sure he was physically okay. And, he was still sleeping,” Keck said.
Keck heard someone had adopted the boy but never knew his name and never had the chance to meet him until now.
Because Koregan Quintanilla, the baby who was left at the fire station, had just one wish for his 10th birthday – to visit Arlington Fire Station #12.
The idea came up in his fourth grade class at Grace Hardeman Elementary School in Watauga where he lives.
“His dream, his 10-year-old dream is to go to the fire station,” said his mother, Rebecca Quintanilla.
“We were like what? Cause we were thinking Disneyland or something and he chose this!” said his sister Sasi.
“Cause this is my fire station that I was abandoned at,” Koregan said.
“I balled my eyes out. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh. I couldn’t even speak,” said Stasi.
Keck took Koregan for a tour of the station and for ride in a fire engine with the lights on.
Koregan liked spraying one of the hoses best.
But suddenly it was all so overwhelming for him and he started to cry. His father was right by his side and comforted him.
Asked if he thought he was special, Koregan said no.
But, somehow, he’s always been placed in the right hands.
Firefighter Keck said, “The family that adopted him and been raising him for the last 10 years, they’re the ones who really saved his life. We were just there to help him out in his first day here.”
And if you’re wondering, the answer is yes. Koregan Quintanilla would like to grow up to become a firefighter.
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