After nearly 50 years of separation, an elderly woman has been reunited with the family she feared was lost to her forever.
Celestine Gandy Thompson left Mississippi when she was 14 years old and eventually settled in Buffalo, New York, where she spent more than three decades of her life, according to WLOX 13 News. After surviving a fire in 1992, Thompson was in a coma for two years and has since experienced memory loss. The 90-year-old found it difficult to recall details about her family.
But after she remembered the name of her nephew Clarence Woolard, a woman that Thompson knows in Mississippi was able to track Woolard down -- and reunite Thompson with her large family.
"In our minds, me and my brother was talking that she wasn't here anymore, because we hadn't heard from her in so long," Donald Davis, another one of Thompson's nephews, told the outlet. "You know, we were overwhelmed and overjoyed when we found out that we had gotten in contact with her."
A few of Thompson's relatives visited her in Buffalo, and then arranged a larger reunion which was held this past Saturday in Gulfport, Mississippi, the Associated Press reported.
Thompson now lives in Greensboro, Alabama, with a caretaker, and, although she is yet to meet them all, she has regained quite a sizeable family of 23 nieces and nephews, 64 grand nieces and nephews, 66 great-grand nieces and nephews and 34 great-great-grand nieces and nephews, according to AP.
"It’s a blessing," Thompson told WLOX 13 News. "I prayed for this day, that the good Lord would let me live long enough for this day, to come together, to be with my family again."