A homeless dad and his son finally reunited after a decade apart have celebrated a first birthday together.
Jason Kelly, from Liverpool, finally found his dad, David, on Christmas Eve 2020 after years of being without each other.
The 23-year-old hadn’t seen his dad since he was 12 years old when his parents’ marriage broke down.
David Kelly was known to have been sleeping rough in Liverpool for many years after he left his family home in Tuebrook.
Just a few days before Christmas, the Liverpool Echo ran Jason’s story about not having seen his dad for years.
Jason shared the only photo he had of David, which had been taken in the late 1990s.
Then, in a miraculous turn of events, a reader recognised Jason’s dad and gave him an address where they knew he was staying.
On Christmas Eve, both father and son were reunited after over 10 years apart.
Since being reunited, Jason has continued to try and get his dad the help he needs. So far, he’s managed to get him the benefits he is entitled to and even a passport for the first time in years.
Jason said: “There’s been some hiccups obviously, even trying to get him to do things that are out of his comfort zone, for example a passport interview.
“Before I met him he had no legal address or birth certificate, passport, bank account so he wasn’t getting recognised by the system and he wasn’t getting his pension which he’d been eligible for.
“Really he was very much off the radar so I had to start from scratch.”
Jason said it’s the emotional connection he now has with his dad that has been the most rewarding.
He said: “It’s amazing how much we’re alike. We only reunited at Christmas but I feel like I’ve met him my whole life and I’m sure he feels the same.
“We are alike. He always explains my own ways and says that’s where it comes from – like it’s in my blood.
“He said to me he trusts me entirely and says that I’m like a younger version of him.”
He added: “When I’m with him he gives me more strength, I feel like I give him more strength as well.”
Last Saturday, February 20, Jason celebrated his dad’s 68th birthday with him.
He said: “It was just the three of us. We got him a toffee flavoured cake as it’s his favourite and you don’t really get a toffee birthday cake, but he liked it the nonetheless.
“We got him a bike as well in his favourite colour. His last bike didn’t have any brakes on it.
“Whenever he was going down a hill he had to get off and walk.”
After the Liverpool Echo ran the story about Jason being reunited with his dad at Christmas he admits things were a little overwhelming at first.
Jason said: “Early on I was quite overwhelmed really, especially when the story went national and then international.
“And yet I was still very much dealing with this on my own.”
He continued: “Yet I’m so grateful as without the story being published I wouldn’t be able to find him.
“It was one day later when somebody reached out and said and this is where he is, and I have the Echo to thank for that.
“I wouldn’t have my father without you.”