A London woman has reunited with the man who found her abandoned in a phone booth as a newborn 22 years ago.
Kiran Sheikh, age 22, was only two hours old when her birth mother left her in a phone booth to be picked up by a charity one night. Kiran’s birth mother was in an abusive relationship and went to the phone booth to call the Samaritans, but left the newborn before they could arrive.
Joe Campbell, age 30 at the time, found Kiran wrapped in a blanket.inside the phone booth and took care of her until the Samaritans and police arrived. Kiran was taken to Newham General Hospital and later adopted by another family.
At age 8, Kiran learned her adoption story and about the kind stranger who cared for her the night she was left at the phone booth. Kiran spent years wondering who that stranger was and in 2016, she turned to the media for help finding him.
Kiran’s search was a success. Campbell stepped forward after a co-worker showed him Kiran’s appeal in the local newspaper.
Campbell never forgot about Kiran and throughout the years, he sent her birthday cards, gifts, and money. However, Kiran never received these gifts as they were intercepted by social services. Campbell even asked to adopt Kiran, but his requests were denied by social services because he was not married. Campbell continued his efforts to stay in touch with Kiran for seven years, but was asked to stop by social services. However, Campbell hoped to one day see Kiran again.
Kiran and Campbell finally met in an emotional reunion this summer.
“It’s one of the happiest days of my life because I never stopped looking for her – I was always hopeful that someday, somehow I’ll find her before I finally part this world,” Campbell said of the reunion, “She is my family – I told her, I said you’ve got siblings, OK we’re not blood related, but we are.”
Kiran was also overwhelmed with joy. “It was just overwhelming – I’d wanted since I was eight years old, that’s a long time to turn 22, I’m still overwhelmed now. I think it’s going to take a few days to sink in,” Kiran said.