A mum who presumed her son was dead after he went missing over a decade ago has shared her shock after discovering he is alive and well.
Joyce Curtis believed that her son Nicholas had passed away as she hadn’t seen or heard from him since 2010.
The last thing she knew was that he was hitchhiking around France and Spain but when she hadn’t heard from him she thought Nicholas had died and even “grieved for him”.
But on December 19 she received a phone call informing her that her son was alive and in hospital in the South of France.
The mother said she couldn’t believe it when she got the phone call.
“When I got the call to say he was alive I just went into shock. All I did was cry all day,” she said.
“This has just made Christmas for me, especially since my husband died back in June.
“It’s like that film Miracle on 34th Street. It’s like a miracle.
“I’d resigned myself to the fact that he had died. I really thought that and I think everybody thought the same.”
Nicholas left his home town of Glasgow, Lanarkshire, in the mid 2000s to travel Europe after losing his job as a joiner.
He told his mum he had been hitchhiking and Joyce believes he spent some time living rough on the streets of Paris.
She reported him as missing in 2009 as he hadn’t heard from her son “for ages”.
A year later, Joyce was contacted by the British Consulate in Paris to notify her that Nicholas had been admitted to hospital in France.
She then flew to visit him with her husband – but that would be the last time she would see or hear from him in over a decade.
“I got a letter in 2010 to say that Nicholas was in hospital in France,” Joyce said.
“He’d been missing for a while by then.
“I’d already reported him missing here in Glasgow the previous year after not hearing from him in ages and ages.”
She said she and her husband had organised transport to get him home but then he disappeared after not getting on a flight back to Glasgow.
“I was waiting on him coming home and there was no sign,” she said.
“When I was over visiting him in France I bought him some shoes and stuff like that so he could have clothes to travel home with.
“I was waiting in work. But he never got home.
“I remember it was pouring of rain that day. I phoned every airport to see if he’d gotten on a flight but nothing.
“We never heard anything again.”
But recently, Joyce received the shock news that he was alive when the British Consulate contacted her to alert her that he had been admitted to a French hospital for a second time.
“I spoke to him on the phone. He looks healthy.
“I asked him, ‘Are you coming home Nikky?’ And he said, ‘Aye’.
“I can’t imagine what he’s been through. I just need to get him home.”
Nicholas is now planning to return home, but Joyce is keen to travel over to France to see him.
“I’m not building my hopes up yet until I get him home,” she said.
“Hopefully though I might even get over to France with my daughter before then so I can see him.”
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office spokesperson said: “We are supporting a British man in France and are providing assistance to his family.
“We are in contact with the local authorities.”
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