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Viral social media post reunites missing teddy bear with owner at Milwaukee airport

5-year-old Ezekiel Burnett lost his bear while in town visiting family over Thanksgiving
Ezekiel Burnett
Posted at 11:31 AM, Feb 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-15 20:59:03-05

MILWAUKEE — Reunited and it feels so good! A little boy’s lost teddy bear made its way back into his arms, thanks to a clever social media post by Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport.

After throwing his teddy bear up into the rafters, 5-year-old Ezekiel Burnett thought he would never see it again.

That all changed, however, when a social media post from the airport went viral.

“I’m so happy!” said Ezekiel.

While teddy was lost when the family was in town for a Thanksgiving trip, he wasn’t found until early January. The airport shared Teddy’s adorable face with the world and the response broke records.

“The bear actually reached 1.9 million people on Facebook, 1.8 million people on TikTok and more than 400,000 people on Twitter. In total, this story about Ezekiel’s lost bear was followed by more than 4 million people around the globe,” said Harold Mester, Director of Public Affairs and Marketing, Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport.

Southwest Airlines picked up the story and flew the family from Dallas to Milwaukee for the reunion.

The story tugged at the world’s heartstrings after some comments pointed out that teddy is sometimes given to children with heart defects.

While Ezekiel doesn’t have that health concern, his father says they are grateful that this moment raised awareness on the issue.

“We're just a lucky vessel to help other people out. We're fortunate to have a child that’s, you know, 100% healthy, but to raise awareness for children with that sort of disease; we can't fathom that those kinds of families go through and families that have lost children that have gone through that. And so just to be able to raise awareness and support as well, it's huge; I can't even put into words,” said David Burnett, Ezekiel’s father.

As they head back home to Dallas, Ezekiel’s dad says he’ll make sure he holds onto it for the entire ride.

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