When Naomi Williams’ adoptive family started the search for her relatives a few months ago, they had no idea how close they really were.
On Thursday the 16-year-old Richwood meisie met her maternal grandmother, Martha Williams, who works just 10 minutes from where the teen lives.
And it has now been revealed that her biological family lives in Mitchells Plain.
Naomi was diagnosed with aplastic anaemia, a rare disease which occurs when the body stops producing new blood cells caused by failure of bone marrow development.
The teen, who is of mixed race, is in need of a life-saving bone marrow transplant, preferably from a biological relative.
She was given up for adoption when she was three weeks old.
In a desperate attempt to try and save her life, Naomi’s foster mother Jennifer Dunn reached out to the Daily Voice to help locate her family. Her daughter also posted several messages on Facebook.
They finally made a breakthrough last week when one of the online searches bore fruit.
Naomi and Martha’s emotional meeting comes less than two weeks before her 17th birthday.
“My daughter posted something on Waar in die Wereld and within minutes someone replied to her post,” says an excited Jennifer.
“On Wednesday my daughter called to tell me she found Naomi’s grandmother and on Thursday we went to meet her.
“Everything happened so fast. She works 10 minutes away, in Durbanville, and lives in Mitchells Plain.
“I was shocked to find out how close she is,” Jennifer adds.
The teen said yesterday she was overwhelmed when she met her ouma for the first time.
“When I met her I was shocked and just said ‘hello’.
“She said: ‘Hello, ek is jou ouma’. She was very emotional and her eyes started tearing up. I was so nervous, I didn’t know what to expect,” the teen says.
“She told me I look just like my mother and we have the same nervous laugh.”
The girl adds: “I would be very happy to meet my mother, regardless if she can help me or not.”
Naomi still goes to hospital for check-ups, but doesn’t need a weekly blood transfusion like she used to.