For almost 30 years, Dirk Pratt believed his daughter, Francesca, was dead. This week, his tears became happy ones. He was reunited with his long, lost daughter.
The last time he saw Francesca, she was two. Pratt says her mother took her to Ecuador for a quick trip to visit family. Then he was told his baby daughter was bitten by a mosquito and died. "I couldn't function or do anything," he said. "She was my whole world."
Since then, he spent each of Francesca's birthdays looking at the one and only photo he had of her. But, six weeks ago, Pratt ran a search of his own name on Google where he found a message: "I am trying to contact Dirk Pratt. I am his daughter." "The first thought in my mind was, 'Francesca or a sick joke?'" he said.
It was indeed Francesca who had been told her father died in a diving accident. But she says she never quite believed it. "Inside of my heart I felt something. 'He's alive,'" said Francesca.
After learning the truth, she moved back to America to search for her father. Yesterday, Dirk and his daughter, were finally reunited.
"He's more happy because I am here," Francesca, now 30, said and she brought some more good news. Pratt not only got his own baby back but there will be an addition to his growing family. "I am having a baby," Francesca said. "I am pregnant. I am so happy."
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
Questions or comments? Send an email
Want to know more? Go behind the scenes with