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'Best year' for son

Daily Mail
Thursday, December 27, 2012

A MAN received the "best present ever" when he spent time with his father on Christmas Day for the first time.

Westley Grey, 50, had never met his father, Westley Snr, until October this year when he travelled to the US.

Along with his twin, David, Mr Grey, of Greenock, Renfrewshire, started searching for his father after the death of his mother Thomasina.

They knew he had served in the US Navy and eventually tracked him down to Texas.

Mr Moorehead joined the US Navy in 1945 aged 17. During the early 1960s he was stationed at Holy Loch near Dunoon, Argyll, a US nuclear submarine base during the Cold War.

While there he met Miss Grey and the couple fell in love, but shortly afterwards Mr Moorehead was sent to the Caribbean during the Cuban missile crisis and later to war in Vietnam.

Just after he left, Miss Grey discovered she was pregnant with twins but had no way of contacting Mr Moorehead, who had no idea until David Grey found him in the US.

David Grey travelled alone to Texas to meet his father, now 84, and discovered that he and his brother have three stepsisters and a stepbrother.

Westley Grey, who has learning difficulties and lives in supported accommodation operated by Quarriers, held a series of fundraisers and together with money given to him by the charity, eventually raised enough for him and two of his support workers to join his twin on a flight to meet Mr Moorehead, who now lives in Tennessee.

Their October flight was delayed because of Hurricane Sandy, but the wait was worth it.

Westley Grey said: "It's been the best year of my life and now I can't wait to see my dad for the first time in my life on Christmas Day when I Skype him. That's the best Christmas present I could ever want.

"It was the most amazing moment in my life to finally meet my dad for the first time. I waited 50 years to see him and was lost for words when I first saw him. I just gave him a big hug."

Westley met his stepbrothers and sisters as well as his stepmother Bernadine, who had dementia. Six weeks after the visit, Mrs Moorehead died.

He said: "I'm really sad my stepmum passed away and this will be my dad's first Christmas without her but he will get to see all his children — me over the internet, David, who is in the US at the moment, as well as my stepbrothers and sisters.

"It's all thanks to Quarriers, which has looked after me for so long, and the support staff, Norma Elliott and Alison Greene, who helped me on the trip."

Mr Moorehead underwent heart surgery earlier this year and now lives with his daughter.

Speaking from his home, he said: "I felt blessed to have met Westley and David for the first time in my life.

"It was incredibly emotional — I will never forget the moment I first saw Westley.

"Now I'm very much looking forward to speaking to him for the first time on Christmas Day.

"The past few months have been a rollercoaster of emotions — meeting Westley and then losing my wife.

"I'm extremely glad, though, that they managed to meet before Bernadine died. He will have good memories of a wonderful woman."

Westley Grey has been supported by Quarriers for 25 years.

The charity's chief executive, Paul Moore, said: "This is one of the most heart-warming stories in the 140-year history of the charity.

"Westley is really well known and liked both within the charity and the wider community — everyone was so thrilled when we heard he had met his dad for the first time.

"We were delighted to have played a part in helping make the trip of a lifetime happen — it was the very least we could do for Westley."

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