A son who launched an urgent appeal to find his dad after more than a decade apart was finally reunited with him in a Christmas eve ‘miracle’.
Jason Kelly, 23, had not seen his dad for 11 years and had been desperate to track him down, particularly after hearing he had been sleeping rough for several years.
Dad David Kelly, 67, moved out of the family home when his son was two following the breakdown of his marriage with Jason’s mum.
The father and son had remained close for some years after but the relationship between David and his estranged wife worsened, causing Jason’s bond with his dad to go sour.
In a desperate bid to re-connect with his father, Jason launched an appeal in the Liverpool Echo on December 23 to find his father, who was known to have slept rough for many years after leaving the family home in Tuebrook.
Jason shared far and wide the only photo he had of his dad, which was taken in the late 1990s. Luckily, someone recognised David and passed on an address where they knew he was staying.
On Christmas Eve, Jason went to the home where his dad had been rumoured to be living for the past few years. A woman in her 70s answered the door and said his dad lived at the address – but he was out at the time.
As Jason was about to leave his number, he spotted his dad returning from his morning run. He went to speak to his dad but David was in such shock, he started to run away but Jason chased after him.
Jason said: ‘I was shouting: “Dad it’s me, Jason”. Eventually it started to sink in and I caught up to walk beside him.
‘When he recognised me, he stared asking after the family and he was trying to remember my birth date.
‘At that point he didn’t want to look at me as his eyes were welling up with tears. I’m exactly the same when it comes to things like that.’
Although Jason was scared his dad might not want to see him, he said he was happy he had found him.
Jason added: ‘It’s a miracle really. When he was running off I thought: “Oh God”. It was the outcome I was fearing the most.
‘But to find him before Christmas was absolutely amazing. I had that in mind and it’s a miracle that it happened.’
Jason said he now hopes to develop a new relationship with his dad but he is taking things slowly to not overwhelm him.
After spending Christmas Day with his mum, brother and his sister, Jason said he took a plate of Christmas dinner round to his dad’s home and gave him a mobile phone as a present so that the pair could keep in touch.
He said he wants to try to help his dad, who has lived with his friend and housemate in Wavertree for the past five years.
Despite already qualifying for his pension, Jason said his dad has never claimed any money and he wants to help him get back on his feet.
Jason said: ‘I’m trying to see if I can get his birth certificate. He can’t access a bank account as he needs a proof of person and he doesn’t have anything.
‘On the photograph, the reason his hands are up by his eyes is he’s holding his glasses together as he’s had them about ten years.’
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