It was a pleasant surprise for a Montreal resident who had been searching for her father for the last 40 years and was able to fly to Kelowna to be reunited with him at last.
Sandra Tirone could not believe her eyes what was happening and was waiting outside the hospital as she said, “I’ve been looking for him all my life.” The emotional woman added, “It’s a miracle for him. It’s a miracle for me. It’s overwhelming, to find my father after all these years — I never thought I would find him.”
Sandra’s father, George Tirone, had separated from her mom when she was only a toddler, but grew out of touch as he traveled across the country. As he waited 45 years later to meet his daughter, he was fearful that she would be disappointed in him. George says, “But I’m excited to see my daughter,” he said. “I haven’t seen her since she was a baby.”
Sandra had hired a private investigator 12 years ago to try to find her dad and was given a phone number, but then came the disappointing news when a woman told her George didn’t have any daughters. She said she thought her dad did not want to see her. She then took a genetic DNA test and traced her family tree through online ancestry website MyHeritage, she then was able to connect with a relative on her dad’s side.
While she was trying her level best to trace her roots, she thought her dad wasn’t interested in looking for her, but she continues her efforts to find her family, and slowly but surely the pieces were falling together. She found out that her grandmother was Russian, which was out of her imagination and also led her to find more of her relatives.
She says that the first time she spoke to her aunt, it was unbelievable because it felt like they had known each other forever. It was throught he aunt that Sandra got to know that her dad was searching for her for many years and that he was in Kelowna’s hospital but not doing well.
She got to know that he was suffering from congestive heart failure, oedema, diabetes and several other conditions, and that his body was shutting down but she is hoping that he would survive and see his grandkids and spend some time with her. It was a very touching moment when Sandra was able to hug her father after years of estrangement and he was able to meet his grandchildren as well.
Wiping his tears, George says, “Never in a million years did I think I’d have grandchildren,” and Sandra adds that it was a dream come true for her and her kids to meet her dad.