It's called a security blanket for a reason.
And when it goes missing, as it did for Hayley, an 8-year-old girl whose cherished pink blankie has comforted her after every seizure she's had since she was just a few months old, it's worth asking the Internet's help to retrieve it.
According to a Facebook page set up for Hayley, she has Dravet syndrome, "a rare and catastrophic form of intractable epilepsy that begins in infancy," the Dravet Syndrome Foundation notes. Nurses in the pediatric intensive care unit gave Hayley the blanket nearly a decade ago, Colorado Springs' 11 News reports.
Montanez's post, which featured a picture of Hayley with the blanket, read:
MISSING: One pink blanket named Kiki. The blanket on the far right is 8 years old -- same age as the girl she belongs to. This is not just any blanket. Kiki came to live with her girl at her very first hospital stay at 4 months old. Kiki has been there for dozens of hospital stays since -- not to mention 7 or 8 moves, half a dozen life flights, too many ambulance rides, thousands of seizures, millions of smiles, giggles and memories. ... Please share! She will never understand why it's gone.
Just hours later, the Facebook post had been shared more than 800 times, reports 11 News, ultimately catching the eye of Kirby Neely, a pastor at the church they'd recently attended. A quick dig through the dumpster produced the irreplaceable blanket, which Neely returned earlier this week.
In a followup post on the 11 News Facebook page, Montanez thanked the station for its help in finding the blanket. "So very grateful! Thanks for making this happen. We owe ya one -- or a hundred," she wrote.
It seems the Internet has a soft spot for reuniting children with beloved objects. In September, the community of Frederick, Maryland, shared a Facebook post about a 2-year-old's lost stuffed animal more than 1,000 times. A stranger happened to notice the stuffed rabbit, named "Monsieur Bun Bun," lying in the street, picked it up, and returned it to the family.
WATCH the touching reunion between Hayley and her blanket, above.