Miracle in Thailand: Siblings reunite with missing mother after 30 years

Photos via KhaoSod

Against all odds, six siblings in Thailand were reunited with their 86 year old mother today who went missing from their family home over 30 years ago. For the past 18 years, monks and villagers were taking care of her at a temple in Prachin Buri province.

Khamthep Iammalai, the former abbot of Wat Mai Saraburi in Kabin Buri district, explained that he found now-86 year old Puan Dumsamang sitting in a gazebo near the temple way back in 2005, reports KhaoSod. No one knows where she was before that.

The former abbot said that he had no luck in finding Puan’s relatives, so they took care of Puan at the temple for the past 18 years. He said that Puan doesn’t speak to anyone, especially strangers. Recently, the temple published pictures of Puan in the media in a renewed effort to find her family.

One of Puan’s children who lives in Nakhon Pathom province in central Thailand, 30 year old Kanyarat Rodkrathuk, saw her mother’s photo in the news and couldn’t believe it. She travelled to the temple to find her mother was really there.

The village chief and former abbot asked Kanyarat to return to the temple with all of her siblings and asked them to bring documents to confirm their identity so they could take her home.

This morning, the six siblings went to Wat Mai Saraburi and burst into tears as they embraced their mother after searching for her for 30 years all over Thailand.

The siblings spent 20 minutes stimulating their elderly mother’s memory before giving offerings to the monks. The family thanked them for feeding and taking care of her for all these years.

Puan’s eldest son Damrong Youngprang said that he was speechless when his sister sent him a picture of the news last week. He said he knew it was his mother who he hasn’t seen since he was just 15 years old.

Kanyarat recalled that when she was just 11 years old, her mother disappeared from their home. She remembered that her auntie, her mother’s sister, had told her that her mother was very stressed.

Over the years, Kanyarat went looking for her mother in various places. Every so often, she was told that someone spotted her mother in this or that province. Every time, Kanyarat drove across Thailand just to be disappointed. This time it really was her mother.

After 18 years of living at the temple, Puan will now be taken care of by her children at home.

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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.