A terminally ill mum is desperate to track down two sons she put up for adoption -who likely have no idea they are blood brothers.
Ann Gemmell, 72, moved to Ellesmere Port, Merseyside, in the early 70s after leaving her husband John Gemmell.
Then a mum of three, Ann left her children Gail, Derek and Jane with their grandmother in Glasgow to set up a new life with a new partner.
But in the years that followed, Ann had another two children Edward and Frederick, who due to various struggles in her life she put up for adoption separately in the 1970s.
Now, as she lies on her death bed, her oldest child Gail is trying to find her two brothers who are unlikely to know they are actually blood brothers and reunite them with their mum and each other.
Gail, who is a midwife, said her mum never spoke about the two children she put up for adoption.
Gail herself only found out when she was looking for Christmas presents under a bed when she was 12-years-old and found a bag with the adoption papers in and confronted her mum.
She told the Liverpool Echo : “My mum ran away and left us three kids with my Granny. She left with a Glaswegian man called Eddie Docherty.
“She ran away with Eddie and was pregnant and had a baby son called Edward Docherty, who was born on February 8, 1971.
“But because my mum was still married to my dad he was called Edward Docherty Gemmell.
“Things weren’t working out with them and she came back home to my Granny, but my Granny said to her she couldn’t look after another child, there was no way they could feed another mouth and she said we can’t keep Edward.”
Gail said her mum went back and forth from Glasgow to Ellesmere Port and became pregnant again with Eddie and had another son called Fredrick Docherty on July 11, 1972.
Sadly, because of the personal difficulties her mum was still going through, Frederick – her second child with Eddie – was given up for adoption on January 24, 1973.
Gail said her mum eventually moved back to Scotland and rekindled her relationship with her dad.
But what became of her two sons – one possibly adopted in Scotland and the other in England – still remains a painful mystery.
Gail added: “My mum never ever spoke about it but obviously now she knows she’s dying.
“Growing up, it was a bone of contention between her and my Granny and it caused lots of arguments.
“Every time we would talk about it as adults mum would say that’s a part of my life I don’t want to talk about.
“But I remember at the time my mum was an alcoholic and every February and July she would just get drunk and that was to blot out their birthdays.”
Gail said her mum’s cancer is terminal and that she is unlikely to last until Christmas.
But, before her mum dies, Gail wants to find her two brothers, Edward and Frederick, so they have the chance to talk to their mum before it’s too late.
Gail said: “To tell you the truth I think it’s as much my wish for her.
“I know It’s something she regrets and I’m the only person who can tell the boys about their dad.
“I think if my mum knew they were safe and had a good upbringing that’s all that would matter to her.
“But the sad thing is they don’t know they’re full brothers. They have got actual full blood out there and they don’t know.”