One mother said it was a ‘miracle’ to learn that her son was alive after last seeing her for more than ten years.
Nicholas went hitchhiking in France and Spain in the mid-2000s after losing his carpentry job and leaving his hometown of Glasgow behind.
He soon lost all contact and his mother believes he slept hard on the streets of Paris for a while.
He was reported missing in 2009 and was last seen a year later after being informed by the British Consulate that he was in a French hospital.
Having received no news in 10 years, even during the epidemic, Joyce took on the worst and even ‘feeled sorry for her’.
But on December 19, he received another call from a hospital in the south of France informing him that Nicholas was there.
He said: ‘I can’t believe it. With Covid and everything that happened, I thought, I thought he was dead. I felt sorry for him.
“I was shocked when I got the phone to say she was alive. All I did was cry all day.
‘This has been Christmas for me, especially since my husband died in June.
“It’s like the movie Miracle on 34th Street. It’s like a miracle.
I surrendered to the fact that he was dead. I really thought about that and I think everybody thought the same thing.’
Although he died in the hospital, his family said he appeared healthy after speaking to him via video call.
Nicholas first disappeared after arranging to come home in 2010, but his family suffered when he didn’t get on the plane.
Joyce recalled, “I remember it raining that day. I searched every airport to see if he got on the plane, but it wasn’t there.
‘We never heard anything again. That was the last news I heard from him until Monday.’
Nicholas is now planning to return home, but Joyce is eager to go to France to see him as soon as possible.
A Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office spokesperson said: ‘We are supporting a British man in France and providing assistance to his family.
‘We are in contact with local authorities.’
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