She now wishes to help other people with family members missing realize that they must not lose hope.
When a traveling family offered to take the 4-year-old Susan along with their kids to Disney World in Florida, US, in 1969, the Preece family did not know that they would never be able to see her again. The traveling family never returned with her and told Susan that they have adopted her, taking her to Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The Preeces spent the next 50 years frantically looking for her, with chances they would never see her again.
This is crazy, how wonderful for the lady and family.— Maryam Qaiser (@Journo_MaryamQ) October 6, 2022
“Brit girl stolen by travellers aged four reunited with her family 53 years on.” https://t.co/fb1tgFLnKd
Susan grew up feeling abandoned, even though the family was loving toward her. As an adult, when she went to get a passport, she found out that her adopted family had been lying to her all her life. She was heartbroken by the thought that might never be able to know who her family is. She would have never known who they are, if it wasn't for Susan's husband, Hamilton Gervaise, who posted an appeal on The Official Knottingley and Ferrybridge Community Forum, asking for people who know anything to contact them. Within 30 minutes, the unbelievable happened, and her siblings from Pontefract, West Yorks, found out about this and got in touch with her.
Susan told The Mirror about her childhood, “As a child, I lived with my six siblings in an old vicarage on a traveler’s site. We weren’t travelers. My mum was on her own and we were all in and out of foster care. I was befriended by a couple on the site who were from Scotland, the woman, who I call my mum, had MS and they had two sons. I think they wanted a girl," she continued, adding, "They asked my mum if they could take me to Disney World and she gave them my birth certificate so I could be put on their passport. Instead, they took me to Canada, then Australia, and later New Zealand. This was always their plan," she said.
When Susan, who co-runs the Fresh Start Mission charity with her 57-year-old husband Hamilton, needed to upgrade her passport but was unable to find any proof of adoption, she learned the truth. After her husband was contacted by Susan's biological sister, she felt she needed to do something special. "When I spoke to my family they were crying hysterically because I was alive," she shared. She planned her trip to the UK to meet her biological family during the same week that she turned 57, allowing her to celebrate with them. Tragically, her biological mother passed away eight years ago without being aware that her daughter was secure. Susan’s niece, Emma, shared that Susan's mother used to look for her, adding, "It was said that Susan’s mother did go out looking for her over the years but with no luck."
She now wishes to help other people with family members missing realize that they must not lose hope, and to let them know that "miracles do happen." She says, "It gives a message to anybody who has lost somebody that miracles do happen. There is hope."
Cover Image Source: Facebook | Hamilton Gervaise