Daughter Reunites With Father Days Before His Death

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We are proud to help families reunite with their long-lost (and sometimes totally unknown) relatives. In an emotional reunion that recently took place thanks to MyHeritage DNA, Sandra Tirone met her father for the first time — after 44 years. Her father, George, who was on his deathbed, was introduced to the grandchildren he never knew existed.

Watch their heartfelt reunion here:

In Montreal, Canada, Sandra Tirone, 45, didn’t have much information about her father, George Tirone, or his side of her family. George had separated from Sandra’s mom when Sandra was a baby, and they lost touch.

Sandra searched for over three decades for her father. Her mother couldn’t offer more information.

I still thought my father wasn’t looking for me, and I had kind of made my peace with that.

In 2018, Sandra’s husband, Guy Ohana Foster, suggested she take a DNA test. She then uploaded her raw DNA data to MyHeritage where she received matches almost immediately. The closest match on her father’s side was a first cousin, Lynn Penlington in Ontario, who was adopted and was herself looking for her biological family.

Sandra helped Lynn with her research on MyHeritage, and the two were able to piece together Lynn’s biological family. She located the siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins (her parents had died a few years earlier) she had been looking for. During the research for Lynn, Sandra uncovered key clues that led her to her own aunt. 

Sandra found the courage to call her aunt for the first time, hoping for clues about her father.

The first time I spoke to my aunt on the phone, I felt like I had known her forever. She speaks like me, with the same intonation.

Sandra’s aunt had important news. 

Your father has been looking for you for years; he is still alive but not well.

George had been searching for Sandra for many years, but he was in Kelowna’s hospital, and not doing well. Through Sandra’s altruistic act to help her cousin, she finally found the father for whom she had been searching over 30 years. 

Sandra and her family flew to Kelowna to visit George in the hospital. She couldn’t believe she was finally meeting her father after so many years. 

I’ve been looking for him all my life. To find my father after all these years — I never thought I would find him. It’s a miracle for him. It’s a miracle for me. It’s overwhelming.

George had congestive heart failure, edema, diabetes, and several other conditions, but it didn’t damper his excitement at meeting his daughter and being introduced to his grandchildren for the first time.

Never in a million years did I think I’d have grandchildren.

Meeting her father, hugging him, and watching her kids hug him was a dream come true for Sandra, after so many years of searching. She hoped for a miracle so they could spend time together and so he could become acquainted with his grandchildren.

Knowing where you come from is priceless!

Unfortunately, in a cruel twist of fate, they only had three days together. A few days after they met, George died. Sandra appreciates that she was able to reunite with her father before he died and she’s so grateful to have reconnected with her father’s side of the family.

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  • Eva Schoenfeld


    March 15, 2019

    I’m so happy for her. I’ve been looking for my father for many years, too. I’m hoping for a happy ending like this one.

  • Doreen Taylor


    March 15, 2019

    Amazing story. Very sad after finding each other that they had so little time together.
    God Bess you Both.

  • Dollie Ryan


    March 15, 2019

    How happy I am for such fantastic news of reuniting families.

  • Anniedear Woeltz Chappell


    March 16, 2019

    Everyone loves stories like this! And yes, getting information from NY on anyone seems impossible. I not only didn’t know there was a man who was full Jewish, married to my late mother (didn’t know her or her family until I was 57 years old), but can’t find a hint of who he ‘really’ was. It also appears “he” never knew he had children. Keep up the great work, MyHeritage! You are a hero!