Blessed to be a witness

Sunday, 21st August

Emily update

He found her.

If you've been reading this for a while, you will recall that I spent a harrowing day reliving the experiences of one of the tsunami survivors, John, who had dug a small girl, Emily, from the wreckage of a building in which 91 bodies were found. At the time I met him, he was back in Thailand for the third time to attempt to find her - both for his peace of mind, and to offer any assistance she may require: emotional or financial. He and I are in touch by email, and I am pleased to report that the other day he sent me the following:

A Thai foundation that I am working with in staging the charity swim at Patong beach this December 24, Duang Prateep Foundation, found out what happened to Emily. Apparently she was never checked into Krabi hospital at all. What happened to her upon arrival at Krabi I have no idea but at some point after the tsunami she was reunited with her father. When this happened I also do not know.  Sadly she lost her mother in the tsunami on Phi Phi island. Emily is a Taiwan national. Records at the Taiwan government office in BKK show that travel visas were issued for her and her father to leave Thailand and return to Taiwan.

He has written to her father, and if he replies, he will fly to Taiwan to meet Emily and tell her father the story of what happened. He is also hoping to get the story into the Taiwanese media, in the hope of raising further money with his sponsored swim at Phuket for the Thai tsunami orphans.

Meeting John was an intense experience that triggered emotions in me that I had clearly been bottling up ever since we arrived in the disaster zone. I was delighted to hear his news, I am pleased that he has achieved his goal, and hope that this will allow him some closure from the experience.

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