In a recent conversation with Helen Pain, the 62-year-old Edinburgh native told me her unusual story.
‘My brother and I were brought up in children’s homes and separated for 40 years, so I asked Jeremy Kyle to find my little brother for me and he did.’
Placed in care at an early age, it would be decades before Helen was reunited with her little brother on the Jeremy Kyle show, having searched in vain for Andrew all her life. It was an emotional reunion to say the least and long overdue after being separated as small children. Helen has had an eventful life and her early childhood was fraught with difficulties.
‘People tried to adopt me but I refused, telling them if you want me you need to take my two little brothers, we come as a package and I was 6 years old then and I was 9 when I went to the convent to see my brothers and tell them that my dad was dead so my depression came up and I tried to kill myself three times from the home roof but I was caught.’
This was the last time she saw Andrew until decades later. Overcoming a difficult start in life, Helen opted for a career in care. She describes herself as a being very motherly and always wanting to make sure people are alright.
Speaking about her career, she explains;
‘When I was 16, I went to the Royal Infirmary and trained to be a nightingale nurse. I loved my job and went down south to become a carer. I worked in a nursing home, but I had a break down and a stroke. I got upset when I was told that I couldn’t work anymore because of that. I loved caring and nursing.’
Having her stroke was another turning point in her relationship with her long-lost brother, bringing them closer together as Andrew is now her next of kin and assumes overall responsibility for her care and wellbeing.
‘Andrew has taken over my care and is looking after his big sister. I’ve been through a lot and if it wasn’t for independent living and the help I get from Blackwood I wouldn’t be here. Andrew is my rock along with my children and my friend Alan who we are taking on as family.’
Although she misses her work, the transition from care giver to receiver has been good for Helen, and she speaks highly of Blackwood Homes and Care which has been supporting her to continue living in her home for years.
And purely by chance there Helen discovered an added bonus when she moved in. Something no one could have foreseen.
‘I was surprised when I met one of my childhood friends here. Ivy was sitting on the bench when I first met her, she shouted to me, “don’t you recognise me Helen? it’s me Ivy.” I was shocked and very happy to meet someone from my childhood. We spend lovely time together and we are there for each other.’
‘I got this peaceful flat when I got in touch with Blackwood. I could not do without them. They look after all my needs and respect me as I do. They brought me back to my childhood place because we are from Abbey hill, we used to live down Abbey Lane and the flat is still there from my childhood. So, I am back home, I am happy, and I am not moving anywhere’ she says, smiling.
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