'Wrong' call vigil kept for 6 years to support family of abducted boy
After searching for his abducted son for 14 years, Sun Haiyang, whose story is the inspiration behind the 2014 movie "Dearest," was finally reunited with his now 18-year-old son in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province on Monday.
However, a man surnamed Yuan in Hengyang, Hunan Province, received numerous calls on the day just because his phone number is only one digit different from Sun's, China Central Television reported.
For the past six years, Yuan received more than a dozen "wrong" calls each month and many encouraging text messages from strangers.
He recalled that he first received such a wrong call in 2015. The other party asked him: "Is this Sun Haiyang? Have you found your child? Don't give up!"
Yuan did not know the people mentioned in the call, as his child was by his side at the time. He told the stranger, "You dialed the wrong number."
He thought it was an ordinary wrong call, but from then on he kept receiving wrong calls and sometimes was woken up by them in the wee hours. Later he came to know Sun's story through more callers from all over the nation.
From being disturbed to greatly touched, Yuan decided not to change his number, in case one day he could get valid clues to help Sun find his son.
On December 6, Yuan received hundreds of text messages congratulating him on "his family reunion" and he replied one by one, "On behalf of Mr Sun, thank you for your blessing."
Yuan also wrote a post in his WeChat Moments: A phone call in 2015 made me become Mr Sun who lost a child. Today, I knew from a phone that your persistence finally paid off. I don't need to reply to text messages as Mr Sun Haiyang anymore. I can finally have a rest. Wish you all the best!
Yuan said in the CCTV interview that because of the similar mobile phone number, he realized the greatness of a father and the responsibility and persistence needed. The kindness of warm-hearted people also gave him hope.
"No matter how difficult it is, as long as you persist, you will see the light. Best wishes to Sun's family," he added.