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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Outpouring of support for deaf orphan

Emotional reunion: Turzynski speaking to her Singaporean relatives during the video call.  - The Straits Times / ANN

Emotional reunion: Turzynski speaking to her Singaporean relatives during the video call. - The Straits Times / ANN

A HANDFUL offered donations, hundreds left messages of support and thousands shared the article on Facebook, with the story of Colleen Turzynski striking a chord with Singaporeans.

The article on deaf orphan Turzyn­ski’s search for her Singa­porean family, published on April 7, reached 216,000 Facebook users, with thousands sharing the story hoping this would increase Turzynski’s chance of success.

Readers who shared the story on Facebook encouraged their friends to spread the word.

Reader Min Koh wrote: “Let’s help her! Share this pls!!”

Another reader, Gabriel Q Chan, wrote: “Sharing this hoping it will reach someone somewhere”.

There were also well-wishers who wrote to The Straits Times, offering her a place to stay or wishing to contribute to her airfare if she should decide to visit Singapore.

One reader even offered to use his air miles to get her a ticket.

Turzynski’s Singaporean mother Lee Kui Yin, 39, Polish father Kazi­mierz Turzynski, 35, and grandfather Mieczyslaw Turzynski, 61, were murdered in a brutal stabbing which took place in Clifton, New Jersey, in the United States, in 1990.

Police found their bodies only a week later and discovered 17-month-old Colleen Turzynski.

Later, she was taken to Poland and raised by her paternal uncle and grandmother, and lost contact with her mother’s family in Singapore.

Five months ago, when she went back to the United States, the 25-year-old started searching for her Singaporean relatives.

Among the e-mail messages and well wishes from readers were three e-mail messages from members of her family, who contacted the paper almost immediately after the article appeared.

An emotional reunion ensued last Thursday at a video call where tears were shed by Turzynski and her Singaporean relatives.

During the 45-minute call, they spoke about their desire to meet up in Singapore soon.

Turzynski said she hoped to visit in the next one or two years. In the meantime, she would save money and improve her English. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network

Tags / Keywords: Regional , singapore


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