Reunion is a dying wish come true for Wisbech man
A man’s dying wish to be reunited with his long lost family has been granted thanks to the help of a local councillor.
John Hudson, who was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer, lost contact with his family decades ago but desperately wanted to be reunited with them before he passes away.
Wisbech councillor Sidney Imafidon, who runs the Duke’s Head pub in the town, stepped in to help make that happen for John, who has aggressive mouth cancer and was a pub regular.
He said: “I posted an appeal on the Maidstone Facebook page and after several weeks and countless shares, I was contacted by strangers who put me in touch with John’s younger brother Lee.
“As it had been a long time since they spoke, I broke the news to John and asked if he would like me to give them his contact details. After a period of nervous hesitation, he agreed.”
And on Thursday (December 9) Lee and his partner Samantha finally met with John, who is 74 and bedridden, at his Walsoken home.
Sidney said: “It was an emotional afternoon, but John, who is unable to communicate because of the cancer, was delighted to see Lee again. He also got to speak to his sister Michelle who now lives in Spain via Facetime.”
Lee, who lives in Biggin Hill, Kent, said: “Danny, that’s what I know him as even though everyone else calls him John, was my childhood hero. He was a teenager when I was born and a really talented footballer. He had trials with Crystal Palace and Dulwich Town and was a real hero on the estate where we lived.
“He was the oldest and was originally called Danny Jenkins, he changed his name to Hudson when our mum married my dad. He had a brother Barry Jenkins and then mum had Roy, Michelle, Beverley and me and we were Hudsons.
“Because John was grown up by the time I was born he was in and out of our lives, and we lost touch. I last saw him about 18 years ago in a pub in Essex.
“The weird thing is my step-daughter Carrie-Ann lives in Gedney and me and Sam travel to see her and our granddaughter Caroline regularly and we drive almost past John’s door on our way up from Kent.
“We are coming up for Christmas and we plan to take John to the pub, he can’t drink but he will enjoy the atmosphere of being in a pub one last time.
“It has been really emotional getting to see Danny again and seeing him so sick but I’m glad we have been reunited and I’m grateful to Sid for making it happen.”