After a tragic plane crash, Melanie Pearson had to bury her son, Anthony. Fourteen years later, she saw a news segment about a survivor who looked just like Anthony, who had been found but couldn’t remember much of his past life. She called the network to investigate and discovered the shocking truth of what happened.
At 76 years old, Melanie Pearson felt tired all the time. It wasn’t anything to do with her age, though. 14 years ago, her son, Anthony, died in a plane crash on his way to Europe, and life had not been the same. The rescuers said there were no survivors and no hope for the victims’ families.
Luckily, she had Anthony’s son, Mark, and his widowed wife, Kayla, to get her by, but it wasn’t the same. She missed her son. He was so young at just 36. He left a young toddler, and Kayla had not recovered from his loss either. But they tried to move on with their lives for Mark’s sake. He needed the women in his life to be strong, and that’s what they agreed on.
But Melanie was still tired and sighed heavily while her hand grabbed the remote control and flipped the channels mindlessly. There was nothing to watch. Something made her stop at a news segment, which she usually didn’t watch. Suddenly, she gasped and scouted toward the edge of the couch in surprise.
A news reporter was talking and beside him was a man who looked like Anthony. He seemed older and more disheveled than he had ever been, but it had to be him. It was him! Melanie harshly pressed the buttons on the remote, trying to hear everything they were saying.
If you recognize this man, please call the number on the screen. He doesn’t remember anything before the crash 14 years ago near the Canary Islands. But authorities now have reason to believe that there was a mistake in previously saying the crash left no survivors… This man is an American citizen who was aboard the aircraft at the time. Any information helps…
The news segment ended, and immediately the phone rang, spooking her. “Hello?”
“Mrs. Pearson, did you see the news?” Kayla exclaimed from the other line. Her voice sounded agitated.
“I saw it! Do you think it could be? I’m sure of it! It has to be!” Melanie responded, trying to control her emotions.
“Yes, I’m sure of it too! I’m coming over, and we’re making that call!” Kayla almost yelled and hung up.
A few minutes later, she arrived. “Where’s Mark?” Melanie asked.
“He had a sleepover tonight. I think we shouldn’t tell him in case it’s nothing. I mean, he doesn’t even remember his dad. I don’t want to get his hopes up,” Kayla explained.
“You’re right,” Melanie answered and took a deep breath. “Let’s do this.”
They both sat down, and Kayla called the number that was flashed on the screen earlier. They told the attendant that they believed the man was Anthony Pearson and provided details. Kayla also asked for more information about what happened over the last 14 years since the accident.
Kayla was told that some fishermen found a man on Tenerife, and they thought he might be an escaped refugee. They offered him a job, and he worked and lived with one of them since then. But new investigations into the crash discovered an extra passenger on the flight.
Anthony was seated in business class near the cockpit, and the pilot had a friend as a guest. When they recovered the bodies, they thought everyone was accounted for. “So that means the man we buried might not be my husband?” Kayla said into the phone.
She was correct, and that’s what started the investigation. The pilot’s guest’s family had been looking for him for years and finally got the airline to open the investigation again.
Melanie and Kayla couldn’t believe it. “That poor family,” the older woman whispered once Kayla hung up.
The network told them that the man they believe was Anthony was working with the U.S. Embassy to get a provisionary passport and return home. But it might take a while. They decided to call the Spanish Embassy to see if they could help with the process.
Luckily, they lived in Baltimore, Maryland, only about an hour away from Washington, D.C., where the Spanish Embassy was. They could drive over whenever they needed.
A few months later, Anthony finally got the documents and traveled to the U.S. Melanie, Kayla, and Mark were waiting in the arrival area of Washington Dulles International Airport. They finally got around to explaining everything to the teenager, and he was excited but cautious.
Finally, the gates opened, and several people came out, but Kayla was on her toes trying to locate Anthony. They were already sure it was him, but Melanie tried to remain calmer. Suddenly, Kayla yelled and ran towards the man who was carrying a small backpack and looking around.
He saw a woman running towards him, and his eyes flared. Kayla almost jumped on him, giving him a big hug she would never forget, and he embarrassed her with a small laugh.
Melanie and Mark approached slower but couldn’t contain their excitement. The older woman heard Anthony say, “I assume you’re Kayla? My wife?”
“Yes!” she exclaimed and started crying.
Clearly, they had explained to him that a family was waiting back home for him, but Anthony still didn’t remember much from his life before the accident. “I’m Melanie, your mother,” the older woman introduced herself and hugged him too.
Anthony looked at his son and said, “You’re Mark, right?” The teenager nodded, feeling awkward at this strange reunion. “I’m going to do my best to remember everything, but you’ll have to fill me in on what happened over these 14 years.”
Mark smiled at Anthony and hugged him. They went home. Mark gave him a tour of their house, which was the same one they bought years ago, and Melanie had brought over photo albums from Anthony’s entire life.
They also did a DNA test, which confirmed that it was, in fact, Anthony, and they all rejoiced at this big miracle the universe had given them.
Melanie took Anthony to see her house where he grew up. “I’m just so grateful that you’re here. We tried to move on, but it’s like our souls knew you were not gone yet. We couldn’t, Anthony. Kayla never even considered dating anyone else. Poor Mark has missed having a father in his life. But I can’t even imagine what you went through,” said the older woman with tears in her eyes.
Anthony told her about his life as much as he could, which wasn’t so bad considering he was undocumented and had no idea where he came from. “But, I’ll do my best to remember you all and make up for all those missing years,” her son promised.
What can we learn from this story?
Miracles happen occasionally. The fact that Anthony was alive is a miracle, and every family that has gone through a loss wishes for such a thing.
Never lose hope and the will to live. Although this is a rare situation, you must never lose hope that things will get better after a tragic loss. Time heals all wounds, and you find ways of remembering that person, even if you don’t get a miracle like the Pearson family.