- 18 August 2014 < Back to gossip

Fulfilling a dying wish to find their missing brother

In this week's episode of Long Lost Family, Davina and Nicky meet seventy-year old Colin Deering and his younger sister, Helen Salmon.

The pair grew up without knowing they had a brother who was given up for adoption. Ever since the death of their mother more than forty years ago they have been hoping to one day fulfil her dying wish for them to find their missing brother.

Colin recalls that as a teenager he would catch his mother crying over a photograph of a child in a high chair that she kept hidden. He wondered who the child was but, when he asked, she claimed it was him. This explanation didn’t stack up for Colin.

But when he was 17 and about to join the army, Colin discovered the truth. As he was leaving home, Nellie told Colin that the photograph he had always asked about was actually his brother Bryan who had been given up for adoption.

“One of the last things I remember mum saying was that Colin really needs to know Bryan, and yes, we’ve got to find him,” Colin explains.

When Long Lost Family took on the search for Bryan, the trail led us to South Africa and an address in Cape Town where he now lives with his wife. Nicky travels to meet Bryan at his home. Bryan explains to Nicky what a shock it was to receive news that his siblings were searching for him as he had no idea he even had a brother and sister. Though he had been told he was adopted, he knows little about his past. The only thing he did know was that his mother performed in the theatre.

When Davina visits Colin and Helen to tell them the news that Bryan has been found, they collapse into each other’s arms, shell-shocked by the news.

A week later, Bryan makes the 6000 mile journey from Cape Town to the Lake District for his reunion with Colin and Helen. They meet at a lakeside hotel in Keswick not far from Helen’s house.

Stephen Haywood and Sheila Andrews

Also on the programme, fifty-two year old Stephen Haywood has been unable to move on with his life until he is reunited with his birth mother.

Given up for adoption at birth, Stephen now lives in Cornwall with his long-term partner, Jan, and spends much of his time with his two daughters and grandson, but the search for his mother has put all their lives on hold. For years, Stephen has avoided celebrating major milestones in his, or his children’s lives and even made the conscious decision to not get married until he can find his birth mother.

In recent years, Stephen’s quest to find his mother has become more acute following a difficult operation. He believes that it was the need to find his birth mother and resolve this missing piece of him that pulled him through this traumatic event

Long Lost Family traced Stephen’s mother to a village in Herefordshire. Overwhelmed by Stephen’s search for her, she tells Nicky about the difficult decision she had to make and the pain she went through when she gave Stephen up for adoption. When Nicky shows her a picture, she is overcome at the sight of the son she gave away, as a grown man.

Davina travels to Stephen and tells him that his mother has been found and that he can finally allow himself to move forward with his life. Stephen can barely breath at the news and it marks a change for Stephen, who can now see a whole new chapter of his life opening up ahead of him.

Four days after learning his mother has been found Stephen travels to Ross on Wye in Herefordshire to meet Sheila. Their reunion is at a hotel in the village where Sheila was living when Stephen was born.

When he meets his birth mother, Stephen is finally able to feel the sense of completion he has been searching for.

Watch Davina and Nicky's search for Long Lost Family, Monday 18th August at 9pm on ITV.