Woman Asks Internet To Help Locate Her Sister Who Has Been Missing For 44 Years
Her mother, Philo, would like to reignite the search for Joanna before she turns 80 in February.
A Singaporean woman is asking the Internet to help her make a miracle come true - to find her sister who was kidnapped from her family 44 years ago
Jen explained that her mother, Philo, suffered from post-natal depression (PND) shortly after giving birth to her fourth child, Joanna Sabrina Vaz, in 1973
With her husband working in Indonesia at the time, she had to care for a newborn as well as her three young sons by herself. According to Jen, it did not help that "PND was largely a stigmatised mark of maternal incompetence," so Philo did not know how to get help and support.
As a devout Catholic, she regularly attended services at Novena Church, along Thomson Road, to pray for help.
It was at the church that Philo met an Indian woman in her 50s named Lakshmi, who offered to help look after her four-month-old baby girl
With Joanna under the care of Lakshmi, who lived in Sembawang with her 20-year-old daughter, Philo would see her daughter for half a day when the caretaker would bring her for weekly visits.
"Philo tried to focus on getting better but she was at her wits' end. She remained undiagnosed," wrote Jen.
However, after two months of their agreed upon arrangement, Lakshmi stopped bringing Joanna to visit Philo.
The now 79-year-old and her husband, who has since passed away, never saw their fourth child again.
Despite their unsuccessful efforts over the decades of frequenting Novena church, seeking help from the police, and spreading the word in newspapers, Jen revealed that Philo would like to reignite the search for Joanna again before she turns 80 in February.
"It was never her intent to give the baby away; she was seeking a temporary situation for someone to look after the baby while she got her life back together," Jen said in her post.
"Don't we all wish we could undo one decision?"
While the family does not have any photos of Joanna or Lakshmi, Jen included photos of herself in the post as the sisters are said to have looked similar as newborns
The Internet has managed miraculous reunions before. Earlier this year, a woman found her long-lost biological mother after posting old photos of her on Twitter: