CBSN

Swedish Tsunami Tot Back With Dad

In this photo released by the Phuket Inter Hospital, Hannes Bergstroem, 2, of Sweden, rescued from the tidal waves that inundated and destroyed parts of Thai southern resort towns was recovering Monday night, Dec. 27, 2004 in a Phuket hospital, alone. The Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet reported the boy's mother and grandmother were missing. His father and grandfather were reported to be in a hospital, though their condition was not known.
AP
A Swedish toddler was reunited with his weeping father in a Thai hospital Wednesday, days after the 18-month-old was found sitting alone on a roadside in the aftermath of the tsunami disaster. The boy's mother is among some 5,000 people still missing in Thailand.

Hannes Bergstroem, his face scratched and pocked with mosquito bites and his hand bandaged, looked bemused as his father choked up with emotion. The father, also scratched and bruised, lay in a hospital bed, holding Hannes with ballons around them.

Hannes was found alone on a roadside near a Thai beach resort Sunday night and he was taken by helicopter to a hospital for treatment. The hospital staff posted his photo on the Internet Monday in an effort to locate his family.

His uncle, who spotted the photo, claimed the boy Tuesday and set up the reunion with the father, Marko Karkkainen, at a hospital on the southern Thai island of Phuket where both father and son were receiving treatment.

There were reports that an anonymous Thai princess arranged the helicopter that brought Hannes from the road to the hospital. Karkkainen said he had been told of the reports.

"I have been to Thailand seven times, and this time only confirmed what I know about Thai people - that they are so generous and caring," he said. "She has saved his life, but also my soul because I couldn't survive if I lost them both," he said referring to his son and the boy's mother.

The mother, Suzanne Bergstroem, has been missing since the giant earthquake-spawned waves hit on Sunday, plowing into the Thai resorts where thousands of Western tourists were vacationing.

Nearly 2,000 people are confirmed dead in Thailand among nearly 77,000 killed across a dozen countries.