NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Nashville homeless man who is currently hospitalized reunited with his family, thanks to the help of a photographer and social media.
Scott Walker began taking pictures of area homeless about two years ago. He recently took an interest in David Milliken, a man he met downtown.
Walker used Facebook to help find David’s family to let them know about his hospitalization.
“We noticed that every single day he never moved from that chair,” Walker recalled of where he often saw David. “He never got out of the sleeping bag, that we saw. We thought that’s interesting, so we talked to him more and more and we eventually named his area Camp David.”
Last Friday, Walker noticed Milliken was not in his regular spot. In his place laid a note.
“It said he had been taken to the hospital. He was found unresponsive and he’s there now at Nashville General Hospital, so we went to Nashville General to see how he’s doing,” Walker explained.
After learning that nurses were unable to reach Milliken’s family, Walker turned to social media in an attempt to help track them down.
“We put it on Facebook about David’s condition and numerous people knew who he was,” said Walker.
His post was shared more than 6,000 times before he received the information he needed.
He was able to contact Milliken’s family on New Year’s Eve.
This weekend, Milliken’s brother, Tyrone Kendall, and cousin, Nadine K. Walls, who he hasn’t seen in 20 years, traveled from West Tennessee to Nashville General Hospital to reunite with their long-lost loved one.
“We asked him did he know who me and my cousin were and he shook his head yes. He’s blinking his eyes so he’s made some improvement,” Kendall told News 2.
The family lost touch with Milliken back in 1996 after he moved to Nashville to seek a fresh start. Milliken initially kept in touch with them but one day he stopped.
Since then, the family has desperately been searching for Milliken with no success.
“We’ve even had the sheriff’s department in our county looking for him. We’ve even talk with some people who worked for the social security administration and they even couldn’t locate him,” said Kendall.
Kendall and Walls say they are grateful for the reunion and would like to one day thank Walker in person one for making it happen.
“Really remarkable now going into 2015 that you still have people that have love in their heart and are caring to take care of a stranger,” said Walls.
“It was just a blessing. It’s like David had angels watching over him,” Kendall said.
Milliken, who remains hospitalized, has been upgraded from critical to stable condition.
He has a long road to recovery, but his family says they plan to be by his side through all of it.