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.