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Man finds parents 15 years after his 'death'

By Li Qian (Shanghai Daily)

09:45, November 02, 2012

A MAN has contacted his parents 15 years after they thought he drowned in a river.

Li Yulong, 24, now known as Wang Shui, fell into the Jinsha River near his home in Yibing City in Sichuan Province in July 1997.

His father Li Tao and mother Chen Fang tried to save him, but failed to find him. Since then, they have been overwhelmed by depression, Sichuan-based Southwest Metropolis Daily reported yesterday.

However, the boy had grabbed a piece of floating wood before losing consciousness. Within two days he had floated downstream to Luzhou, where several fishermen saved him and admitted him to a local hospital. He required 18 stitches in his head.

Li regained consciousness two months later, but had amnesia. After no one claimed the boy following local media reports, a man surnamed Wang adopted him, named him Wang Shui and they moved to Shanghai.

There, he studied well and was admitted to Tsinghua University, one of the country's top universities. After he graduated, he pursued further education in the UK and married a local girl. The family of three, including his foster father, now live happily in the UK.

Though Li Yulong later remembered his parents, he failed to find them in his hometown because their residence had been pulled down. He didn't give up and turned to the Internet, the report said.

In June, his grandmother saw an article about a boy who was found 12 years after he went missing and told her granddaughter, identified as Xiaoyue, who was born the year after Li Yulong's supposed drowning. Xiaoyue published their family's story on the Internet in case Li Yulong was still alive.

In July, Li Yulong read the post and contacted Xiaoyue via QQ, a popular online chat platform.

Li Tao and Chen Fang didn't trust the young man until he started to talk about his childhood.

"The day before I fell into the river, my father took me out for a snack at night. But when we came home my mother beat me because I didn't study long enough," the report cited Li Yulong as telling his parents. Finally they were convinced.

His sudden appearance has greatly surprised the family and they hope to see each other soon. But Li Yulong's foster father rejected the meeting because he thought it would impact his son's life in the UK, the paper said.

The family respects Wang's decision. "We appreciate what Wang has done for our son," Chen told the newspaper.

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