Tracie Dean

Tracie Dean was driving home to Atlanta after visiting family in Mississippi when she pulled over to refuel in a small Alabama town. Little did she know that this routine stop would make headlines across the country. When Tracie entered the gas station's convenience store, she saw a little girl standing alone and tried to strike up a conversation with her. "Does your mommy work here?" Tracie remembers asking the girl. When she answered no, Tracie says a rough-looking man who looked about 60 years old suddenly spoke up. Tracie remembers he said to the girl, "Elizabeth, are you trying to find a new mommy?" His tone wasn't "warm" or "silly," Tracie says—she remembers it chilled her to the bone.

Tracie was in the store for only a few minutes, but it was long enough for her to realize that something was wrong. "I thought to myself, 'That child does not belong with that man,'" she says. She got in her car and started to drive off but couldn't bring herself to pull out of the parking lot. Instead, Tracie turned her car around and found out the man's license plate number. She then called 911, and the dispatcher said they'd look into it and call her back. A few minutes later, the dispatcher called to tell Tracie that everything checked out—the girl was the man's granddaughter. Tracie drove back to Atlanta, but couldn't get the little girl out of her mind.

Tracie says she felt "half-crazy" not being able to put the incident behind her—but she felt in her heart she had to find answers. "I told my sister, 'I will let this go when my heart says let it go.' And I could not let it go. I thought, 'If I'm right, this was [the little girl's] one shot.'"

Tracie desperately searched online for the girl's face on missing children websites and continued to contact authorities. When four days passed without a single lead, Tracie decided to become her own detective. She drove 260 miles back to the service station.
Sheriff's Deputy Bryan Davis

Tracie arrived at the gas station around midnight and convinced the store manager to let her look at surveillance video of the girl in the store that day. While Tracie and the manager were watching the tape, Sheriff's Deputy Bryan Davis entered the store.

When Tracie explained the situation to Deputy Davis, he asked her to fill out an incident report and probed for more details. The store manager remembered seeing the little girl regularly and was able to give Davis an idea of where she lived.

The next day, Davis and his colleagues spotted the truck Tracie had described parked outside a nearby trailer. The sheriff sounded his horn, and the man stepped out the front door. A woman stepped out behind her arms was the little girl whose face had haunted Tracie for days.
Jack Wiley and Glenna Faye Cavender

A background check on the couple came up with nothing. The officers say they had no choice but to leave the property. Before they were out of the driveway, their dispatcher came up with new information—the man was a possible sex offender wanted in Wisconsin. Police say the couple gave false aliases, but an investigation revealed them to be Jack Wiley and Glenna Faye Cavender.

Officers immediately arrested Wiley and Cavender. It was later discovered that Wiley was not the sex offender wanted in Wisconsin—but he has been charged with first-degree rape and sodomy in connection with the little girl and a 17-year-old boy also found in the trailer. Cavender has been charged with child abuse. She confessed to police that Wiley had repeatedly sexually assaulted both the little girl and the teenage boy. Doctors confirmed that the young girl was severely sexually assaulted. Cavender also confessed that she and Wiley molested other children across the country. Police are investigating all leads.

Tracie says authorities are waiting for DNA test results to determine if Wiley is the girl's grandfather. Both children are now in foster care.
Sheriff Tracy Hawsey

Sheriff Tracy Hawsey was with Deputy Davis when they went to Jack Wiley's trailer. He says he saw evidence that the couple was planning to flee—between the time he first visited the trailer and when he returned, a suitcase had been set out and packed with clothes.

Authorities say there are three things you should do if you suspect you've seen an abducted child.
  1. Get the car's license number—including the state and a description of the car.
  2. Call 911 or the police.
  3. Call 800-THE-LOST to report what you've seen.
Oprah tells Tracie that her heroic instincts are an extraordinary example of "multi-sensory perception." "You were operating on really just a feeling, an energy, a current that said 'Something here isn't right,'" Oprah says. "Because [you] listened to [your] gut and wouldn't let it go, two children were rescued. ... You are a hero!"
Felix catching Eric

In December 2005, surveillance cameras outside a Bronx, New York, apartment building filmed the amazing rescue of a newborn baby named Eric. Eric and his mother, Tracinda, were trapped as smoke engulfed their apartment. Desperate to save her son, Tracinda called to strangers standing on the ground...three floors below. Then, in a heart-stopping moment, Tracinda dropped Eric out of the window and into the arms of Felix, a brave bystander.

Felix cradled Eric in his arms and rushed him to safety, where he was able to perform CPR and save the child's life. Tracinda was rescued by the fire department and is happy to report that Eric is happy and healthy. Since the fire, she has named Felix her son's godfather!
Baby in plastic bag

In a crowded park in Brazil, visitors rushed to the water's edge when they heard cries coming from a black plastic bag. Home video captures the dramatic moment when a man fishes a bag out of the lake with a tree branch. To everyone's shock, inside the bag was a 2-month-old baby girl wearing a soaked pink dress.

After the baby was rescued, Brazilians mobbed the hospital hoping to get a glimpse of the child. The little girl is in the care of child protective authorities and has recovered fully. Police have arrested the baby's mother and charged her with attempted homicide.
Firemen resuscitating Pixie

Cameras rolled as firemen Richard LeBlanc and Wayne Silva pulled an unconscious puppy from the Kindler family's burning home. Immediately, instinct took over—Richard and Wayne began performing mouth-to-snout resuscitation on Pixie, the family's beloved pet. Within minutes, Pixie opened her eyes and began breathing on her own.

Although the Kindler family lost their home and most of their belongings in the fire, the quick-thinking firemen saved their family dog from the flames.
Roger St. Laurent getting hit by a car

In January 2006, Deputy Roger St. Laurent made a routine traffic stop just after midnight...but what happened next was anything but ordinary. As the Florida police officer stood next to the driver's door, another car—travelling 60 miles per hour—sped by, hitting Roger from behind. The squad car camera's video shows Roger being slammed against the car by the force of the impact. Dazed and in shock, Roger called for backup.

Fortunately, Roger only suffered bruises and scrapes from the hit-and-run accident. The day after Roger's scare, police discovered the driver was an 83-year-old woman. She was on the way to the hospital to visit her terminally ill husband. Roger says he's since learned that the woman thought she had hit a car, but was unaware she had struck him.
Proud moments at Greenwood Elementary

In November 2005, Oprah issued a challenge to her viewers to "do something for somebody else to make yourself feel proud."

Many of you watching took Oprah's request to heart and began doing something each and every day to help others.