Ann Arborite and Red Cross volunteer helps reunite man with daughter after Hurricane Isaac
A news photo taken in late August of a rescue during Hurricane Isaac in Louisiana set off a chain of events that reunited a father and daughter after a 16-year estrangement.
And an Ann Arbor woman helped facilitate all of it.
A man in Florida contacted the news wire the Associated Press and a Louisiana Red Cross chapter after seeing the photo of the man, who he thought could be his brother. The brother had disappeared during Hurricane Katrina, according to the Red Cross.
Debbie Kemp, an Ann Arbor resident who had deployed to the disaster zone with the Washtenaw-Lenawee chapter of the Red Cross, began researching the story and located the man in the photo, Larry Baily of Slidell, La. She tracked him down and arranged a conversation between Slidell and the Florida man, who realized they were not related.
Kemp helped Baily further when he was hospitalized with an illness. It was then Baily shared contact information for his estranged family, located on Orlando, Fla., and was reunited with his daughter after a 16-year absence, the Red Cross said.
Baily expressed gratitude for the efforts of Kemp and the Red Cross.
“Making one person happy, makes the deployment worthwhile," Kemp said in a statement.