A WOMAN is desperate to track down her long-lost father who may know more about the rare degenerative disease she suffers from.

Leah Elliott, who is now 34, was just two years old when she last saw dad Robert, known as Bob.

She has been searching for him for ten years since she was diagnosed with Peripheral Neuropathy with Metabolic Acidosis, which causes her mobility problems and can be hereditary.

READ MORE: Do you recognise anyone in our rugby team pictures from 1989?

Leah has stepped up her search after spotting a picture of the former Southampton Rugby Club player in the pages of the Daily Echo. Our nostalgia section included an image taken in 1989 of him alongside teammates.

Daily Echo:

She said: "I'm told he worshipped the ground I walked on. I know he loved me, but he was there one day and the next he was gone.

"My mum and dad actually got engaged the night before he left, so it doesn't make sense.

"All I was ever told was that he left when I was two as he didn't want to be a father. But as I've got older and other things have come out, it doesn't really add up. I'd like to hear from him and tell him about me. 

Daily Echo:

"I'm hoping he might be able to tell me more about my medical history but also just provide me with answers really.

"I was at uni when I was diagnosed. I was bedridden with it. I saw specialists in London, but I've been on life support twice and it causes me a lot of problems.

"My disability means I'm not able to work and I wondered whether either my Dad or any other children he has had might know more.

Daily Echo:

"He's been on my mind over the years."

Leah believes her father grew up on the family farm in West Wellow and returned to the Southampton area after splitting from her mum around the time the rugby picture was taken. He was a social worker, but will now be aged about 65.

Leah is being helped in her quest by Southampton Rugby Club officials who are attempting to track down their former player.

Leah, from Portsmouth, lived with her mum and dad, plus three older sisters, who had a different father, in Waterlooville. 

  • To be put in touch with Leah, email lorelei.reddin@dailyecho.co.uk or call 023 8042 4711.



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