A mum who was certain her son was dead after not hearing from him for a decade has expressed her delight at discovering he’s alive.
Nicholas Curtis, from Glasgow, Lanarkshire, went hitchhiking around Spain and France in the mid-2000s and hadn’t been in touch with his family since 2010.
His mother Joyce Curtis thought her son had died but on December 19 received a call saying her lad was in a hospital in the South of France.
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"I can’t believe it," she said. "I thought with Covid and everything that has gone on, I thought he was dead. I grieved for him.
"When I got the call to say he was alive I just went into shock. All I did was cry all day.
"This has just made Christmas for me, especially since my husband died back in June.
"It’s like that film ‘Miracle on 34th Street’. It’s like a miracle.
"I’d resigned myself to the fact that he had died. I really thought that and I think everybody thought the same.”
Joyce reckoned her boy had been living rough for a while in Paris after she had reported him missing in 2009.
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She visited him in a hospital in France a year later after receiving a call from the French consulate, but didn’t see or hear from him after that.
"I got a letter in 2010 to say that Nicholas was in hospital in France.
"He’d been missing for a while by then."
She and her husband headed out to see him and were trying to bring him back to the UK, but in the process, he disappeared again.
Joyce continued: "I was waiting on him coming home and there was no sign.
"When I was over visiting him in France I bought him some shoes and stuff like that so he could have clothes to travel home with," she added.
"I was waiting in work. But he never got home."
But Nicholas never came home and that was the last the family heard, until now.
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The British consulate got in touch to let her know he was in hospital again and confirmed to her that he’s alive.
"I spoke to him on the phone. He looks healthy.
"I asked him, ‘Are you coming home Nikky?’ And he said, ‘Aye’.
"I can’t imagine what he’s been through. I just need to get him home.
“I’m not building my hopes up yet until I get him home.
"Hopefully though I might even get over to France with my daughter before then so I can see him.”
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office spokesperson said: “We are supporting a British man in France and are providing assistance to his family.
"We are in contact with the local authorities."
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