Some kids are survivors. Ashley Wyrick’s story made the front page of the San Jose Mercury News.

On Dec. 30, 1987, a California highway patrolman pulled off Cañada Road near Edgewood Road in Woodside to write a report. It was about 6 p.m. and 42 degrees, and he thought heard a tiny cry. Behind a stone wall he found a newborn baby swaddled in a bag.

Rushed to Sequoia Hospital, the baby had a temperature of 90 degrees. But she recovered and charmed the nursing staff, who dubbed her “Miraculous Mary.”

The baby who’d been left to die was adopted and named Ashley by a Redwood City couple with grown children. After their divorce, her adoptive father won sole custody and raised her till she was nine, when he died of cancer. Her adult sister, Serene Herrmann, became her guardian with her adoptive mother taking a grandmother role. From the San Francisco Chronicle, which also ran a front-page story today:

“She’s never been ‘Poor Ashley.’ We don’t really talk about how many times she’s been abandoned. She knows she’s really loved, and we don’t dwell on it,” said Herrmann.

Three years ago, Herrmann was diagnosed with cancer and given six months to live, reports the Mercury News. Ashley coped.

Through four surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy, Herrmann said, “Ashley was the main one there for me.” Herrmann’s new husband was working two jobs, and her other daughter was away at college.

Wyrick stepped in, taking the sister she calls Mom to medical appointments, helping her cope with emotional turmoil and a devastating illness.

For now, Herrmann said, the cancer seems to have gone into remission.

Ashley is graduating from Sequoia High School on Friday. She’ll go on to the University of Arizona, where she’s earned a full scholarship.

There will be two special guests at her graduation party: The officer who found her abandoned by the side of the road and the nurse who cared for “Miraculous Mary” in the hospital.

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  1. Thanks for sharing that.