It was just two years ago that 20-year-old Morgan Hill learned she had been the subject of major news headlines across Chicago as an infant.
In October 1995, Hill, who was a newborn, was left for dead by her mother in a dumpster in suburban Hoffman Estates. She was rescued by a construction worker who was dropping off garbage.
“He was dropping off the last load of trash from the construction area he was working on,” Hill said. “Before he dropped it in, he heard a whimper. He found a white kitchen bag that was double knotted.”
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Hill was taken to a nearby hospital, where nurses named her Mary Grace. She was later adopted and became Morgan Hill.
After learning the story of how she was saved, Hill set out to find the construction worker who saved her.
“I have known I was adopted my entire life,” she said. “But two years ago I found the full story, and I have been trying to find that construction worker ever since.”
NBC affiliate KHSB tracked down the construction worker, Gerald Rocky Hyatt, and on April 20 Hill was reunited with the man she now calls her “guardian angel.”
“I broke into tears and the first thing I said was, ‘Thank you,’” Hill said. “He said to me, ‘Baby girl, you are so loved.’"
Then he gave Hill an angel pin he has had for more than 20 years.
"I've worn it every day since," Hill said.
Hill’s adoptive mother, Sandi Hill, has kept many of the clippings about baby Mary Grace in a binder. This month, she added a picture given to her by the construction worker, whom she credits with giving her the daughter she always wanted.
“Rocky said God brought us together and he was so right,” she said.
Morgan Hill said she’s not only grateful to Hyatt for saving her life, but she hopes her story will help save others.
“I could not thank him enough,” Hill said. “He gave me a chance to live a second life. Because if he didn't find me, I would not be here to help others and show soon-to-be mothers that there are so many options out there and you don't have to throw your baby away.”