PARENTS

'Do You Know Who I Am?' YouTube Appeal By Woman Abandoned In Bag As A Baby 25 Years Ago

27/09/2012 11:57 | Updated 22 May 2015
A woman who was abandoned in a bag when she was a baby has launched an appeal on YouTube to find out who she is.

In the video – 'Help Me Find My Birth Parents' - Victoria Vardy describes how she was found in a brown canvas bag on the stairs of a department store 25 years ago.

At first, shoppers and store staff thought the bag might have been a security threat because of the IRA's bombing campaign.

But when a security guard investigated, they found little Victoria gurgling inside.

Shop assistant Marilyn Kynman reached into the bag and held the tiny baby in her arms until the police arrived. Incredibly, she didn't cry at all.

The little girl was named Katy Elder – because hospital staff liked the name Katy and the Co-op department store where she was found was on Elder Street, Chesterfield, Derbyshire.

Her story featured in the local press where police campaigned for the child's mother to come forward.

But after nine months, they were no closer to finding her and so Katy left her foster carers and was given a new start as well as a new name, Victoria, by her adoptive parents, the Vardys.

'Do you know who I am?' You Tube appeal by woman abandoned in bag as a baby 25 years agoRex

They gave her a fantastic, loving upbringing and she wanted for nothing, but Victoria, who now lives in Manchester, always felt the need to find out about her past – and who she really is.

She has now reignited the search for her birth mother with a personal appeal on YouTube.

"I was worried that nobody would be interested enough to watch my film and I'd look a bit silly," Victoria told the Mirror. "But I've been overwhelmed by the response."

The video has attracted more than 15,000 hits and worldwide interest.

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It's not that I want a new family. The family that adopted me are wonderful and I wouldn't change them for the world. But I know absolutely nothing about where I came from," she said.

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"Even if you're adopted you usually know some facts, but being left in a bag is so extreme. I'd like my birth mother to know I'm happy and safe."

Victoria didn't really think about her birth mother much until she was 16 when a girl at school became pregnant.

"I realised that could easily have happened to my birth mother," she said.

"I started thinking about the situation in a more mature way, recognising that nobody would give up a baby under a day old willingly, even in the worst circumstances."

She also started to be curious about the family she didn't know.

"I wondered why I was artistic and good at singing, when my parents weren't."

In 2001, she was diagnosed with type one diabetes, which could have been inherited.

"My birth mother might have had it and that may have caused my birth defect," she says.

"Sometimes if you're unaware of diabetes in pregnancy it can cause deformities in the child."

In July this year Victoria sat down in her bedroom and switched on her webcam.

"I just ad-libbed and told my story from the start," she said.

Within 24 hours, the story was picked up by the same local newspapers that ran the original story about Victoria and she discovered security guard Bob Kynman married Marilyn the shop assistant who found her and called him.

"They organised a reunion and they welcomed me like a long-lost niece," says Victoria.

"It was exciting and they were both teary. It felt like the first big step and a key link to me as a baby."

She has also received hundreds of messages of support from people on Facebook. "It's made me more determined than ever," says Victoria.

"People are so interested in my story that in a funny sort of way, I feel I owe them as well as me.

"I'm making plans to contact the foster carers who had me as a baby, as well as Norcap, the charity which helps people who have been adopted."

Victoria says she would be just as happy to find her birth father or a sibling as she would her mother.

"Even someone who knew any of them would be amazing," she says.

"I know it's a long shot and I could easily wind up being disappointed, but I just want find out who I really am."

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