Man races to find long-lost sister before father loses memory: ‘I’ll do anything to find her’

2018-12-01 17:00
PHOTO: CATERS/WWW.MAGAZINEFEATURES.CO.ZA.

PHOTO: CATERS/WWW.MAGAZINEFEATURES.CO.ZA.

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A son is racing against time to conclude a 15-year search for his long-lost sister before his father loses his memory.

And he’s vowed that he’d do “anything to find her”.

Matthew White (37), from Worksop, Nottinghamshire, in Britain, named his daughter after his missing half-sibling Ella, whom he hasn’t seen since his mother moved out while she was pregnant.

Matthew believes Ella, whose surname could be White, is between 30 and 32 and was born to mother Samantha, who’s around 53.

Samantha’s last known address was in Witham, Essex.

Pictures of Samantha have been unearthed. It’s believed she moved to Holland after marrying an American pilot between 1984 and 1985.

Dad-of-three Matthew restarted the search for Ella after several family deaths, including his brother and uncle.

The health of his father Andrew (61) is deteriorating and he hopes to find his sister before he completely loses his memory.

For Matthew, being reunited with his sibling would be the “perfect Christmas present”. He’s vowed to search until his “eyes hurt”.

“My father is slowly losing his memory, so the importance of what I’m doing right now couldn’t be any more important.

“I named my daughter after Ella. It feels as if I’ve been thinking and looking for her pretty much all of my life but only in the last 15 years did I really start pushing to find her.

“The deaths in our family gave me more enthusiasm. I’ll keep trying this as I need her before, God forbid, I’m gone too, because then who’ll step in my place to find her?”

Matthew says it would be a blessing for his entire family if he could find her.

He describes the heartbreak of not being able to get more information from his father, who only remembers certain details due to mental health problems.

Apart from struggling with loss of memory, Andrew abattles bipolar disorder and a crushed vertebra in his neck from working as a miner.

Matthew refers to his situation as being like a “horror movie” because his father can’t even remember basic information about Ella and Samantha.

“Over the years my dad’s suffered from mental health issues so some of his thought processes don’t work the same way ours do.

“He can only remember certain things. He can’t even remember Samantha’s last name, which kills me.

“Looking at someone you love who can’t tell you the one thing you want more than anything is hard.”

What’s known is that Samantha moved out of their home in Margate to Essex while pregnant. She once wrote to Matthew between 1989 and 1990, giving him an address in a coastal village.

In the hunt for Ella, Matthew’s shared posts online. He even called every Ella White in the phone book, without any luck.

“With all the bereavements my father’s gone through, he needs her. He needs to see her because of his illness. That’s why I’m willing to do whatever it takes.

“If she doesn’t want to see us it would be hard to hear, but I’d have to respect her wishes.”

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