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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Charlotte Hadfield

Boy reunited with his 'lifeline' as kind strangers step in

A mum told how her autistic son broke down in tears after being reunited with his "lifeline".

Sheila Murphy said her son Ellis, 15, was "distraught" after his therapy cat, Simba, disappeared on Friday, April 7. After sharing a post on Facebook, Sheila soon discovered Simba was stuck approximately 50ft up a tree near a train depot in Allerton, close to Liverpool South Parkway station.

The 51-year-old, from Allerton, said she struggled to access the area which was surrounded by railings and brambles, until a group of kind strangers pulled together to help her.

READ MORE: Exact time 50mph winds will batter Merseyside as weather warning issued

Sheila told the ECHO: "He probably got stuck up the tree at about 5pm on Friday, but I didn't know he was there until the next day.

"I put a picture on Facebook. I was asking if anyone had seen him and someone said 'there's a cat stuck up a tree at the back of South Parkway station.' I saw the picture and just knew it was him.

"This cat is my son's therapy cat. He's autistic and he's his lifeline. My son suffers terribly with his mental health."

Sheila said she called the fire service, the RSPCA and Network Rail for help in rescuing Simba, but it was thanks to a post on Facebook that she was inundated with messages from kind strangers offering their support.

Ellis burst into tears after being reunited with Simba (Sheila Murphy)

Sheila said: "There were people that turned up who I didn't even know, they were all wanting to help. I'm not a fan of social media but I'm just overwhelmed by the kindness and people wanting to get involved, and wanting to help.

"These two women turned up, Beth and Mel, who were like guardian angels because I could not even string a sentence together. I was a mess and my son was frozen in shock.

"These two women just took over. They helped me, they calmed me down. They were just absolutely amazing."

Russian Blue cat Simba was finally rescued by tree surgeon, Michael Finch, who came to the rescue on Easter Sunday. Sheila said her son was so relieved to be reunited with him "he sobbed when he got home." She added: "He's just got such a bond with this cat."


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