Teenager’s Search for Lost Hat Touches Hearts, Goes Viral on Facebook
Bridget Hughes’ favorite hat is a standard, brown knitted stocking cap from Gap. It might not look like much — but to her, it means the world.
The hat belonged to Hughes’ mother, who passed away from breast cancer when Hughes was seven years old. On Sunday, Hughes was waiting to board a late night flight to El Paso, Texas, from Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport. After her flight was cancelled, and in the rush of getting a new flight arranged and figuring out last-minute hotel accommodations in the busy terminal, she lost it — and didn’t realize it until the next morning.
She tried looking through the airport’s lost and found, but didn’t have any luck. On Tuesday, she posted a photo of her wearing the hat on Facebook, explaining her story and the cap’s significance.
“This is the hat she [her mom] wore most often during her chemo treatments … It was … the only possession of hers I could constantly carry with me,” she said in the post.
The post went viral. People from across the world commented, “liked” and shared the picture. At the time of writing, on Friday, the post had been shared more than 150,000 times with more than 8,000 comments. But it’s not just Facebook that’s shared Hughes’ story: On Friday morning, both NPR and the Los Angeles Times had picked it up as well.
It still hasn’t been found. Hughes told the Times it would be “awesome” if she was able to recover the hat. But, she added, “if I don’t, I will grieve the loss of it, but feel immensely blessed at the same time, and immensely grateful, that so many people cared for me.”