This heartwarming photograph shows a girl abandoned by her mother in a telephone box who has met with her rescuer after 22 years!
Kiran Sheikh, 22, was just two hours old when her scared mother abandoned her in the middle of the night. She called 911, but upon their arrival, the rescuers saw that the newborn was already saved by Joe Campbell.
Mr Campbell called the police, and Miss Sheikh was taken to the hospital, where she got the April name after her birth month and the surname after her saver.
The baby girl was adopted by another family who eventually renamed her. When she was eight, her parents told her how she had been found. Two decades later, wanting to meet with the man who saved her life, Kiran addressed Mr Campbell and he agreed to meet in London.
Miss Sheikh shared her emotions: “I’m so overwhelmed, this is unbelievable. I've been waiting for 15 years to meet him and he's finally here! He was the second person after my mother to hold me, it's incredible.”
The man said: “This is a wonderful day. I am so glad we managed to get in touch after all these years. I’ve never forgotten her and can't believe she has found me."
That night, Mr Campbell entered the phone box to call his parents in Guyana, because they had a five-hour time difference. First, he took the baby girl for a chip package, but the child turned out to be inside!
He said: “I saw a chip package on the floor and got astonished, as I hate people who couldn't clean their mess. However, I soon realized there was a child inside. She was so cute and innocent. I think anyone else would have done the same.”
The man tried to stay in touch with Miss Sheikh, who received a new name, Kiran. He sent cards, money and gifts to the social service. He even wanted to adopt her, but got refused as he wasn’t married.
His support continued for seven years until he was asked to stop. The girl said she never received any gifts, and knew nothing about her rescue.
Kiran added: “I don't know why they didn't tell me about him. All I got were photocopies of the cards without even the words written inside.”
Speaking on one British morning show, Mr Campbell said: “It was so emotional, I was happy and even shed a few tears while waiting. I did my utmost to hold on as big boys don’t cry, but it’s one of the happiest days of my life because I’ve never stopped looking for her. She is my family, and I told her so. Though we’re not blood-related, but we are relatives.”
Miss Sheikh commented: “I’m not angry with my mother, I forgive her. She wrote me a letter and I forgave her. I would like to meet her to tell it personally. I hope she’s doing fine.”
As Miss Sheikh grew up, she suspected she had been adopted because her parents were much older than her friend's parents and had different skin colour. The girl has never seen her real mother, who already had six children and the man abusing her.
Now, her father is in Canadian prison for attempted murder. Another big shock came when it turned out that Miss Sheikh had grown up not far from the house where Mr Campbell had lived until 1997. They had probably come across, but the girl was too young to remember.
Mr Campbell did not know his biological mother, who had died when he was three, so he believes this may have influenced his kindness.
He said: “I wanted her to have parents. My stepmother cared for me as if I was her own, and I wanted Kiran to have such mother as well.”