When her child discovered an unconscious woman in the park, Rebecca rushed to help and thought she looked familiar. However, she couldn’t remember why until the woman woke up in the hospital and called her name. It was her missing big sister, who had a shocking story to tell.
“Mom! Come! There’s a lady on the ground! I think she’s sick! Or hurt! Come!” Rebecca’s son, Alex, urged her, pulling her sleeve and making her rise from a bench.
They had been enjoying a lovely day out at Fairmont Park in Philadelphia, and she got distracted on her phone for a second. That’s when her 8-year-old came running and started babbling about an unconscious woman. Naturally, Rebecca wanted to help, so she let Alex guide her towards the woman.
Rebecca was sitting on a bench in the park when her son started pulling her. | Source: Shutterstock
A prone woman was on the ground near the trees, and some other children surrounded her. “Move, everyone. I’ll call 911, and she’ll be ok. Don’t worry,” Rebecca said to the kids and leaned down over the lady to touch her pulse. She dialed the emergency number and waited for the paramedics to come.
She thought that was it. The woman was alive, and they would tend to her well. But Rebecca caught a glimpse of her face when they placed her on the stretcher and started rolling her away. It was highly familiar, but she couldn’t quite figure it out. The thought bugged her so much that she decided to follow the ambulance to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, with Alex in tow.
After a quick examination, the nurses told Rebecca that the patient was dehydrated and malnourished. They were giving her fluids and letting her rest. But she was going to be ok. Rebecca thanked them for everything and sat down outside the woman’s room to wait for her to wake up.
Alex soon fell asleep on the chairs and Rebecca worried that it was getting way too late. But she couldn’t leave before finding out the truth, so she asked the nurse to watch her son and entered the room.
The woman was awake. | Source: Pexels
“Oh! You’re awake,” Rebecca exclaimed at first but lowered her voice after realizing how loud she had been.
The woman moved her head in her direction and stared hard at her. “Rebecca?”
Rebecca stopped abruptly and pointed at herself with her finger. “You know me? I thought your face was familiar but couldn’t figure it out. I’m so sorry, but when did we meet?”
The woman smiled and laughed breathlessly. “We met when you were born. I was six years old, and our parents had just brought you from the hospital.”
Realization dawned on Rebecca’s face. “Vanessa?” she exhaled. “Is it really you?”
“It’s me,” her big sister confirmed.
Rebecca only knew that Vanessa had left and nothing more. | Source: Pexels
Rebecca couldn’t believe it and rushed to her bedside as tears gathered in her eyes. Her big sister, Vanessa, left the house at 18 and never returned. Rebecca was just 12 years old and didn’t know what had happened at all. But she remembered hearing her parents worrying about her sister every day. She couldn’t believe then that her dear sister had just disappeared from her life when they were so close.
Vanessa also started to cry as Rebecca sat down beside her and held her hand. “What happened?” her little sister asked.
“What did Mom and Dad say?”
“Nothing. They said you left, and that was it. But I know they worried about something. I was also worried because you didn’t call. You didn’t answer any messages, and you were just gone. I’ve missed you. It’s been 18 years, Vanessa! I need to know what happened,” Rebecca urged.
Vanessa sighed and began her story. “It’s not pretty. I fought with Mom and Dad back then. I wanted to move in with my boyfriend. Do you remember him? Anyway, they disapproved. Obviously, I should’ve listened. But I was a dumb kid. I hope you didn’t give them as much headache as I did.”
Vanessa didn’t know how to return. | Source: Pexels
“No, I was a good kid, especially after you left,” Rebecca replied, leaning her head closer to Vanessa.
“Anyway, we went to New York. It was awful. My boyfriend… that idiot… got mixed up with the worst people imaginable and led me down a horrible life. I was trapped. I couldn’t return. I’ve been trying to return. But those people have a way of figuring out your life and following you around. I thought moving to New York was going to be amazing, and it was the worst nightmare imaginable,” Vanessa revealed, closing her eyes at the memory.
“I’m so sorry. But you could always come back,” Rebecca added.
“I don’t know. My head was in such a weird space. I was convinced Mom and Dad didn’t love me, and I couldn’t. I think he put that thought in my head,” Vanessa stated and stopped speaking, contemplating what she just said.
Rebecca let her have a moment, not knowing the exact horrors she had lived through. But she couldn’t contain her curiosity. “But what happened? How did you get here now? I found you on the ground in the park! Why didn’t you go home to our parents?” she questioned.
Rebecca took Vanessa to their parents’ home. | Source: Pexels
“My boyfriend died a month ago, and it felt like I was finally free. I came here about a week ago, but I didn’t dare to visit Mom and Dad. It’s been a little crazy, and I didn’t know where you live or if you were still in Philadelphia. Anyway, I’ve been sleeping in an abandoned house. I have no money or anything. I forgot to eat. I was going to beg for some change at the park,” Vanessa explained.
“Oh my God. Vanessa…” Rebecca sighed.
“Well, I’m here now. So you found me?” her big sister wondered.
“Well, actually… my son found you. His name is Alex, and I can’t wait to introduce him. He fell asleep on the chairs outside. Let me get him,” Rebecca replied with a huge smile and got up.
She slowly brought Alex inside and introduced them. The little boy was ecstatic to meet his aunt and babbled about everything in his life.
Vanessa had to build her life up from scratch. | Source: Pexels
Vanessa got discharged from the hospital the following day, and Rebecca brought her to their parents’ house. They all cried after so many years of not seeing each other. The reunion was even more tearful than it had been in the hospital, but Rebecca was delighted that her long-lost sister was finally home and safe.
Their parents revealed that they sent the police after her, but they couldn’t do anything or bring Vanessa back because she was 18 at the time. After the first initial emotions of their reunion, their parents scolded their grown daughter about the issue. But they forgave her quickly, and she moved in with them.
She had to build her life from scratch, and it was going to be tough after her experience. But her entire family was there to support her.
What can we learn from this story?
- You can overcome anything if you have a support system. Vanessa had her family back after years of going through trouble, and they were only too happy to help her build her life up.
- Be a good Samaritan. Alex saw a woman in need and called his mother so she could dial 911. Rebecca rushed to help out too.
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