Matthew Whitaker is incredibly lucky to be alive today, and he owes it all to the actions of Azita Milanian, who found him buried alive in the woods just hours after being born, 20 years ago.
Now, Matthew and Azita have finally been reunited in an emotional meeting on Air with Ryan Seacrest, the first time they have met since that fateful day. “I was waiting for you for 20 years,” Azita said to Matthew. “You’re exactly what I’ve imagined. I guessed your size, everything. Thank you for coming into my life, you changed my life. I knew we were going to connect again. The day I met him he confirmed my faith. God brought us together for a purpose.”
Azita found Matthew while jogging out on a hiking trail in Altadena, California back in 1998. He was buried in a shallow grave, covered in dirt and barely breathing. It was one of Azita’s dogs that alerted her to Matthew’s feet sticking out above the ground. “He went after something and I thought it was a dead animal or creature,” she said in an interview at the time. “Then, as I looked deeper in the dirt, I could see it was a child.” She began to frantically dig away at the dirt with her hands. Then, she said, “I screamed. There was a blue towel, and there was a baby in there.”
After dialing 911 with no success, she alerted a passing motorist to the situation. The driver headed to the local police station while Azita stayed behind with Matthew, comforting and cleaning him up. “He grabbed my wrist and stopped crying,” Azita said. “It was very emotional. What kind of sick human would do something like that? He still had his umbilical cord hanging from his stomach.”
Amazingly, Matthew survived and was put up for adoption. Azita never saw him again, and his mother or whomever it was that abandoned him was never found. Matthew didn’t learn about his incredible second chance at life until recently.
“I was in the car with my godmother and she was like, ‘Has anyone ever told you the true story of how you were found?’ And I was like, ‘No’ and she was like, ‘Legend has it …’ and then she told me the story and I was just in awe and then I went home and did research and then I started telling everyone because I felt so cool that I survived the impossible,” he said.
The pair plan to keep in contact, and Azita is finally able to fulfill her dream. After originally reaching out to child services all those years ago, she was told that he had been adopted and would not be able to see him. “It was the most frustrating experience,” Azita told the LA times. “I was hoping that he would find me, the same way we found each other that day.”
And now, finally, he has found her. Scroll down below to see how the story unfolded, and watch the emotional video for yourself!
Back in 1998, Azita Milanian was jogging with her dogs on a deserted hiking trail in Altadena, California
One of Azita’s dogs alerted her to some tiny feet sticking out above the ground