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Photographer shocked to find long-lost dad amongst the homeless people she was documenting

Image: Diana Kim

This photographic journey of a daughter finding her mentally ill father on the streets and his road to recovery is truly heart-wrenching and beautiful.

Photographer shocked to find long-lost dad amongst the homeless people she was documenting

Diana Kim’s love of photography was sparked as a child, spending time with her father in his photography studio when she was growing up in Maui, Hawaii.

Unfortunately they eventually lost contact after her parents separated and her father struggled with mental illness and descended into homelessness.

The 30- year-old first began the photography project that would reunite her with her dad, as a student in 2003. Documenting the homeless became a personal crusade close to her heart.

One day she discovered her father crouching behind some bins, trying to keep out of the sun, but he didn’t recognize her. He had severe schizophrenia, and was unwilling to accept any medical help.

A heart attack proved to be a blessing in disguise, when he was admitted to hospital and medicated by doctors. With the correct treatment her dad’s recovery, though ongoing, has been remarkable.

He is now active once again, spending time with his daughter and friends and even looking for a job. Diana has even given him a camera to reintroduce him to photography.

 

Diana Kim, now happy to have her father back in her life and doing so well said, “Life itself is a gift. I am so grateful to see him alive and doing better. I appreciate what we have right here, right now”.

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