HAPPY: Sandra and Bill Olah on the Sunshine Coast.
HAPPY: Sandra and Bill Olah on the Sunshine Coast. John McCutcheon

Baby left under a bush solves her own mystery, 50 years later

SANDRA Olah never knew the name of the boy who saved her.

Mrs Olah, now living at Coolum, was abandoned in the English countryside as a baby but was found by a teenage boy, 15-year-old Martin Palmer, under a holly bush.

After her rescue, Mrs Olah was adopted by a family, which then emigrated to Australia.

The mystery of that discovery itched at both of them, but it wasn't until last month that Mrs Olah, who turned 50 on Saturday, finally solved it.

With the help of her husband Bill, Mrs Olah travelled to Newbury, Berkshire, and tracked down Mr Palmer through a newspaper clipping and some detective work.

"Things kept falling into place," Mrs Olah told the Sunshine Coast Daily.

"We found his name through the paper, then were pointed in the direction of an aged-care home, which his mother used to run, and that led to finding Martin's sister's address and she directed us to where he lives. I knocked on the door and asked him to give me a hug, and I told him I was the baby he had found.

"We chatted, and had a cup of tea and caught up on where my life went and where his life went.

"Meeting Martin was emotional, and lovely."

It was a big moment for both of them.

Immediately after their reunion, Mr Palmer told London's Sunday Times his mother had wanted to keep the baby, who she fittingly called Holly, but she was instead put up for adoption.

"I have always wondered what became of that little baby," he said.

Mrs Olah said the meeting had helped fill out the story of her life.

"For him, meeting me and seeing I was good and well was really nice to fill in the blanks," she said

The pair have now become firm friends and are planning to keep in touch in the future.

Mrs Olah said the journey to the UK and her mission to uncover her past had been both emotional and rewarding.

"When I was about 12 I found out I was adopted, and I had always wanted to meet (Martin)," she said.

"Martin was able to fill in some blanks as to where he found me and some things I didn't know.

"People have really taken to the story.

"A lot of people have opened up and shared their own adoption stories... it has actually been a bit overwhelming."


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