It's been months since 5-year-old Ellianna ‘Elli’ Villegas has seen her dad, who recently joined the military.
Right now, a teddy bear -- dressed in military gear -- and given to Elli on her birthday is the only reminder she has of him.
A video, of little Elli receiving the bear, captured the hearts of millions of people online. It even got the attention of Ellen DeGeneres!
Elli and her mom, Vanessa Villegas went on the Ellen show and received an even bigger surprise, seeing Dad for the first time in months!
“I hadn't seen David in what seems like forever,” said Vanessa. “I know she missed him so much, so I know it meant the world to her. Just seeing him, that meant everything,” she said.
The bear was the family’s idea… a way to comfort little Elli.
“He's never spent a day away from him, they are inseparable. We knew this was going to be very hard on her,” said Vanessa.
Vanessa said her husband, David Villegas, writes letters to his daughter every day.
“I read the letters to her, so she can feel like he's still here, but the bear really did help a lot,” she said.
While Elli’s bear is a reminder of her father, her new doll -- a gift from Ellen -- will always remind her of this special surprise on national T.V, all orchestrated by her dad.
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