Long Lost Family viewers were in tears last night after Andrew Olum Ekpang’s first meeting with his long lost daughter Laura Aker was put in jeopardy after he fell ill and was rushed to hospital.
Laura, 39, grew up with her Scottish mother, Susan, and the man she thought was her father.
She was told as a teenager that he was in fact not her biological dad and her real father, Andrew, lived in Nigeria.
Susan became pregnant after meeting Andrew when he was training for the Navy in Scotland.
But when his training came to an end Andrew had to fly back to Nigeria and hasn’t returned since.
Andrew wrote to Susan from Nigeria promising that he would return to Scotland to meet his daughter.
But Laura was left heartbroken after Andrew never came back.
Host Nicky Campbell and the team managed to find Laura’s half-brother Ntem on Facebook and got into contact with him.
They discovered that Andrew has always wanted to meet his daughter but due to financial difficulty he couldn’t make the trip.
The team then arranged for Andrew and Ntem to travel to the UK to finally meet Laura.
But just one week before they were due to fly out Andrew collapsed and had to be hospitalised.
However much to viewers’ delight Andrew managed to recover and was finally able to fly out.
Presenter Nicky met Andrew and Ntem at the airport as the two prepared to meet Laura for the first time in 39 years.
Andrew admitted that he was determined to meet Laura despite his mystery illness.
He said: “I felt terribly happy and thanked my god that my daughter had been looking for me.
“I have always been thinking about her.
“It’s sad. There are moments I sit round with my children and Laura is not there.”
Nicky then showed them both a photograph of Laura which left them both emotional.
When asked what he wanted to say to his daughter when he meets her, Andrew simply said: “I love you.”
Host Davina McCall then told Laura that her dad had been found and she also has 12 siblings leaving her in tears.
The trio broke down in tears as they met for the first time in a heartwarming reunion.
As soon as Andrew hugged his daughter he told her he loved her while brother Ntem struggled to hold back his tears.
Laura said: “I just felt a connection straight away. When my dad said he loved me it was everything I hoped for.
“Now I feel not only part of my family in Scotland but also part of my massive family in Nigeria.”
The emotional reunion also left viewers watching from home reaching for the tissues.
One said on Twitter: “OMG, the look of wonder and love on Andy’s face when he saw Laura. And Nten’s face on seeing his older sister.”
“Oh stop Laura meeting her dad and brother gave me all the emotions #longlostfamily her dad’s face just said it all,” another added.
A third tweeted: “Every time Laura’s Dad says I love you, I cry. What a beautiful episode.”
“Laura, her dad and brother have brought tears to my eyes. Sad and happy,” another said.