The reunited day of a babylift Vance McElhinney

A baby saved from a Vietnam orphanage in a daring 1975 rescue mission has been reunited with the birth mum he thought had died.

Vance McElhinney (left) and his Vietnamese mother Le Thi Anh.

Vance McElhinney, 43, had nothing but a crumpled baby photograph to show for his life before he was airlifted to England in a hastily organised emergency mission at the end of the war.

He was recued under Operation Babylift, in which youngsters were gathered from Vietnamese orphanages and moved to the UK, in 1975.

The 18-month-old was the very last to be given a home when his adoptive mum Liz, a rev canon, picked him up from an English orphanage and took him home to Co Armagh.

A recent BBC TV appearance about his experience sparked a deluge of phony Facebook messages from people claiming to be his estranged family.

But one message stood out – from a woman claiming to be his cousin who enclosed a photo she claimed was his father.

Skeptical Vance couldn't deny the likeness and agreed to meet with the woman – flying to Vietnam five months later.

But sat across from his cousin in a cafe, she confessed she hadn't been honest – and the older woman sat in the corner was in fact Vance's long lost birth mum.

Le Thi Anh, 64, explained she had fallen ill at the end of the war and while she was in hospital her desperate family had handed him over to nuns without her knowledge.

Sobbing out her answers through an interpreter, she told how she walked most of the 370 miles to Saigon to find him – but he had already been flown out of the country.

She never re-married, never had any more children – and never forgot the little boy she named Nguyen Thanh Chau who was now sitting in front of her 41 years later.

It took Vance 18 months to steel himself to submit 20 strands of the woman's hair for DNA testing because he was equally scared of either outcome.

Late last year he found out she was a 100 per cent DNA match and for the first time in his life felt like he truly belonged.

Source: The Sun

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