A last resort Facebook appeal from a Leyland daughter has lead to an emotional reunion with her mum after 21 years apart.
Stacey Lee, from Golden Hill Lane, was separated from Brenda Drake when she was just two years old.
She started searching for her mum when she was a teenager, and a couple of weeks ago she decided to give it one last shot and post a plea on social networking site, Facebook.
A picture of Stacey holding a cardboard board asking for information about her long-lost mum was shared more than 100,000 times, and lead to the pair meeting up.
“I just wanted some answers and to know what she looked like”, Stacey, now 23, said. “My legs were like jelly when we met up, I was so nervous, but I was relieved she wanted to see me too.
“We just hugged and cried, it was really emotional, and we spent about five hours together talking - we had a lot of catching up to do.
“We’ve seen each other about four times since. It’s all happened so fast.”
Stacey was separated from Brenda in 1993 after a family breakdown, and went to live with her dad and two brothers, before being raised by her grandad in Runcorn.
She didn’t know if her mum had married and changed her name, as she was Brenda Davies when she had Stacey and her siblings.
Stacey spent eight years trying to find her, looking online, on the electoral register and turning to organisations such as the Salvation Army for help, but always ‘hit a brick wall’.
She was about to give up hope, until her boyfriend, Martin Smith, suggested she post a message on Facebook.
“I didn’t really have anything to lose,” Stacey said. “But I didn’t think I’d get one share, never mind it going viral!”
The message on her board read: “Looking for my birth mother Brenda Elizabeth Davies (may have another name).
“Born in Leyland, Lancs, had me in Manchester General 21st Oct 1991.
“I also have 2 other brothers from my mum.
“If you have any info please contact me.”
Strangely, one of Stacey’s childhood friends who she hadn’t seen for years got in touch with her - who turned out to be her cousin.
She passed on Brenda’s new surname and Stacey was then able to find her mum on Facebook.
Stacey messaged her saying ‘I take it you’re my mum’ and Brenda replied: “Yes I am love, nice to speak with you after all these years. I’ve been trying to find you and your brothers but had no luck.
“I thought I would never find you. I’m shaking and crying. I can’t believe it.”
They arranged to meet up in a pub in Blackpool, near to where Brenda lives.
Stacey then discovered that she has four younger half brothers and sisters, who were all really excited to meet her.
Her own brothers have also been in touch with their birth mum, but haven’t met her yet.
Stacey asked if they could keep in touch and Brenda said: “You will never leave my side again. Now that I’ve got you I’m never going to let you go.”
Stacey said: “I can feel a change in myself, I feel a lot happier now.”