PHUKET, Dec 28: A Swedish toddler who was feared orphaned after giant waves struck southern Thailand was reunited with some of his relatives on Tuesday.
Hannes Bergstrom, 14 months old, was found wrapped in blankets on a hill by an American couple on Sunday, hours after a Thai villager had rescued the boy from a tsunami that killed more than 1,500 people in Thailand.
"We thought his whole family was washed out to sea. We had no idea," American Ron Rubin told Reuters as Hannes played in a Phuket hospital room with his grandmother and uncle.
The toddler's father, Darko, and grandfather survived the waves that swept into their resort. But the mother was missing. Rubin and his girlfriend, Rebecca Beddall, had found the boy in Khao Lak, north of Phuket where the wall of water shattered a 10 kilometre strip of luxury seafront hotels, shops and restaurants.
The couple brought Hannes down the hill after they felt it was safe and took him to Khao Lak's hospital. Doctors put his picture on the Internet where a relative identified him. "Just to see his grandma in there, you know, I cried," Rubin said. -Reuters