INSIDE EDITION was there for the reunion of a woman and the Good Samaritan who saved her life a quarter century ago.
In 1988, Shelley Cumley pulled Nicole Farley to safety after coming upon a horrific accident scene on a highway in Northern California.
Shelley told Nicole, “For so many years, Nicole, I had a picture in mind of what you would look like, what you were doing, how your life was. And to be able to see you face to face is a dream come true.”
INSIDE EDITION’s Jim Moret asked, “What is it like for you all to be together?”
Nicole said, “It's kind of surreal. I can't believe that she's really here.”
Nicole was only seven months old when her mother, Roanna, was driving when a drunk driver slammed into her at 120 miles per hour. She was trapped inside the car.
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Roanna said, “I couldn't move. I was completely pinned and I’m thinking, ‘Where is my baby?’”
The drunk driver was killed instantly. It's a miracle Roanna and Nicole were alive. The real miracle came when Good Samaritan Shelley pulled baby Nicole to safety thinking the car was about to explode.
Shelley said, “There was fuel leaking everywhere and I just thought, ‘I have to get that baby out of the car.’”
Unfortunately, the little girl was permanently paralyzed.
Now 26, Nicole has spent virtually all her life without the use of her legs. It hasn't stopped her from leading a productive life of good work. She runs her own day care center. She goes fishing in her wheelchair and she showed Moret how she drives a specially-outfitted truck with a robot arm that puts her wheelchair in the bed of the pickup.
So, how did the Good Samaritan find Nicole after all these years? She gets daily emails from a website that shares inspirational videos and saw Nicole’s powerful story.
Speaking about the video, Shelley said, “The very first frame was ‘My name is Nicole Farley.”
Moret asked, “And you knew the name?”
Shelley said, “Oh my word, that name, I have never forgotten her name.”
Moret asked, “And did you just have chills?”
“I stopped breathing. I was just very...I was in so much shock,” said Shelley.
Shelley knew she had to contact Nicole but there was trepidation because she had lived with guilt thinking that she caused Nicole’s paralysis when she pulled her from the car.
Moret said, “For over 25 years you carried around the guilt that you caused somehow the paralysis.”
“I did. I just thought that I shouldn't have picked her up out of that car seat. But how do you not do something like that? How do you just stand there thinking the car is going to blow up?” said Shelley.
Her fears were unfounded. The doctors said the accident snapped Nicole’s neck paralyzing her on impact.
Now, these three women have a lot of catching up to do. They have already formed a permanent bond. A lifelong friendship linked forever by the horrible accident that brought them together.
Roanna told Shelley, “Thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking care of Nicole when I couldn't do it.”