Long Lost Family tracks down woman’s birth dad – only to find he has dementia

Long Lost Family tracks down woman’s birth dad – only to find he has dementia

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When Ann Melbourn signed up to ITV’s Long Lost Family, her dream was to find the birth father she was separated from when she was adopted aged just six weeks old.

Not only had the pair been apart for half a century, but after Ann, 52, was rejected by her birth mother shortly after she tracked her down twelve years ago, she had even more questions about where she came from.

Ann, whose birth mother decided not to meet her but instead passed on her father’s name, explained: “People take for granted having a family. I’ve always longed to know … where I come from. I want to know who I belong to and ..Who am I really?”

Ann, who lives in Birmingham with her husband Freddy, continued to say that when she found out her mum didn’t want to “know” her, her “heart sank”.

However, when she told her her dad was called Leslie and that he used to play football, it only added to Ann’s drive to find out more about the dad she’d never known, and ask him the things that had always been on her mind.

She wondered: “Did he ever think about me? And did he ever love me? Have I got any brothers and sisters?”

Ann continued: “You do want that sense of belonging to somebody. I’ve lost so much. Life is short, I need to find him.”

So with the help of the Long Lost Family team, including presenters Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell, Ann does exactly that.

Astonishingly, Nicky discovers Leslie lives just 12 miles away with his wife Dawn. But there’s heartbreak in store when it transpires that Leslie sadly has dementia.

So instead of a face-to-face meeting, Nicky schedules a chat with Leslie’s wife Dawn over Zoom to find out more about his story – where he discovers another surprising twist to the family’s tale.

Dawn explains that six weeks previously Leslie had been contacted by another secret daughter called Jenny, but that he knew nothing about either of the girls previously.

Dawn continues to say that had he known he had two daughters who had been adopted, he would have taken them in and brought them up himself.

Armed with this new information, Davina heads to see Ann to break the news to her that not only have they found her dad, but also a half-sister she never knew she had.

And it’s everything that Ann could have dreamed of, as she emotionally tells Davina: “Oh wow! I can’t believe it, Do you know what? It’s even more than what I wished for.”

What’s more, the pair then enjoy their very first phone call in which Leslie tells Ann that he loves her.

Since that amazing conversation, Ann and Leslie have met for the first time and Ann is also seen on film visiting her half-sister Jenny in Devon.

Opening up about the overwhelming experience of getting the answers she longed for, Ann says: “It kind of took my breath away…This is actually my sister….I think it was meant to be that we both came into our birth father’s life at the same time.”

She adds: “It’s only the beginning now…. A new chapter in all our lives.”

For more inspiring stories from shows like Long Lost Family, sign up to OK! newsletters here. Long Lost Family airs Monday at 9pm on ITV

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