A young man in India. A missing parent and a life alone. Until a friend made his dreams come true.
I would like to know, what feelings initially drove you to begin a search? Why did you want to find Patrick and what answers/information were you looking for?
I wanted to find Patrick for my friend Richard. He’d grown up without knowing his parents in India. Let me explain.
During August 2015, I was staying at the Grand Oberoi hotel in Kolkata where I met Richard Malone, a young chef who unlike all the other staff members at the hotel, did not have an Indian look about him. On chatting to him, i asked if he was on placement from Europe, it transpired that his father was of Irish descent and his mother was half Indian and half German. So Richard looked more Caucasian than Indian. Richard told me that his father had moved back to England when he was very young and he has been looking for him all his life.
On my return to England, I kept in touch with Richard and provided him with the necessary support, mentoring him through WhatsApp and got to know him better. He was very much alone from a young age and had been pushed from pillar to post all his life even living on a railway platform for 9 months of his life at the age of 7 years old and sleeping on park benches. Richard lived off scraps of food that he would find and at times he was lucky enough to get food given to him by the railway police. In desperate measures, he would resort to eating mud, which sadly resulted in him developing worms in his stomach! He was rescued from the platform by a priest who was visiting from South Africa, who took care of him for almost four years and made him a church boy. This gave him the opportunity to attend boarding school where Richard was able to receive free ‘quality’ education. After he had graduated from school, he was made to join the Indian army as he was one of the four best sportsmen in the school. He stayed in the army for almost two years until the day he was accidentally shot in the arm during training. It was then that he was given the opportunity to leave if he wished.
Richard left the army and was helped by the principal of the boarding school to start a course at a college in Kolkata after which he went to work as a chef at the Grand Oberoi in Kolkata.
During all this time, he had been in search of his father but he did not know where to begin. He tried to the best of his ability by writing letters to the address that had been given to him by his mother, in Blackheath, England.
Had you done any other searches on Richards behalf prior to approaching us?
About four years ago, we contacted a few tracing companies but no one could help. During August 2016, I visited Kolkata again and by this time I had learned more about Richard’s story and spent more time getting to know him. It was at this point I realised that he really had no one to help and support him and he was struggling to find his identity. No one cared for him! I wanted to help him as he had proven to be such a delightful character, full of care and respect, someone who had blossomed despite the tumbles of life. Therefore, on my return home, I searched the telephone directory, electoral registers and Facebook for Patrick but there was no success. I tried to Google his name too but again, there was no luck. It was then I decided that I would seek help from the experts. There was this reluctance about how good these ‘Finder’ agencies would be and how genuine too.
I would also like to know how you found out about us and why you made the enquiry with us?
I searched the internet for companies and obviously the success rate and testimonials together with the cost were the crucial deciding factors. For this reason, I chose FinderMonkey and I somewhat really liked the company name. It was a little cheeky, just like Richard.
Once you had made the enquiry, what made you decide to go ahead and use us and did you have any doubts at this point?
The success rate displayed on your website and the introduction video together with the team members being introduced were my main deciding factors for choosing FinderMonkey.
Then how did you find the process with FinderMonkey?
The FinderMonkey team were highly professional during every step of the way making me feel as if I was the only one they were searching for. The time and attention, together with regular feedback and updates of their progress in the search were commendable. I never felt rushed whenever I spoke to any of them and it felt as if I was speaking to a member of the family…there was so much warmth in their responses.
After much research we did find Patrick but unfortunately he had passed away some years ago but here’s what followed…
How did you feel when we told you we had discovered that Patrick had sadly passed away?
Obviously, I was very upset for Richard as I knew that he had longed to see his father, even a picture of him as he didn’t have one. Although I had prepared him for the worst case scenario I was quite gutted. At the same time, I tried to console myself and thought that at least he died 20 years ago and not last week, in which case I would have felt extremely awful as Richard could have seen his dad had I done something earlier.
The great news was Richard has been blessed with a beautiful family of a mother, brother and sister.
How did you feel waiting for a response from our initial contact with Patrick’s wife?
I was a little nervous of course as I didn’t want to mix my words and accidentally say the wrong things. I know Richard was really worried too as he felt that his step-mum could have easily rejected him.
And…….eventually what was it like when you first spoke to her?
When I eventually spoke to Janice, she was such a warm, beautifully caring person who was shocked with this bolt from the blue. Although she knew nothing about Richard, she was worried for him and his wellbeing. She was willing to hear him out and give Richard a chance to get to know his brother and sister if he could prove through a DNA test that he was truly related. Fortunately for Richard, the DNA test proved the relation and the family are now interacting with each other, getting to know each other.
A truly amazing story and we are very proud to be a part of it. It just goes to show that with determination, trust and some expert help you can get the answers you are looking for, don’t ever think it’s not possible.