The family of Stephen Warde have praised the man who found the missing Kinvara man in Malaysia last week.
Stephen Warde (32) had been missing in Kuala Lumpar since the new year until he was found in a “distressed state” and brought back to his family.
In a post on the Facebook groups Help Find Stephen Warde – in Malaysia his family said that Stephen won’t be able to come home for some time as he remains in poor condition.
“Thankfully, Stephen was found alive in Kuala Lumpur last week. Unfortunately, he is not in good health and is expected to remain in hospital in Malaysia for the foreseeable future as he is not fit to fly and he needs serious medical care.”
“He faces a long road to recovery, but now that he has been reunited with us, we can support him during this difficult time,” the post read.
Mary Morrisey, Stephen’s mother, and three of his siblings had travelled to Malaysia to help in the search for him.
The family was raising money to help with the search, offering a €5,000 reward for anyone who helped find him and with the intention of hiring a private investigator.
At home in Galway there was a huge outpouring of support from the Kinvara community and around Ireland.
The family added in the facebook post that they were happy to give that reward to the “hero” who found Stephen and helped.
“Stephen was brought to the Irish Embassy in Kuala Lumpur by a man who found Stephen in a distressed state.”
“We were delighted to hand over the reward of $5,000 to this man today. Were it not for this man’s thoughtfulness and compassion, it is likely Stephen would still be missing, or worse.
“You are a hero and we will be forever grateful to you,” they said.
Thanks were also given to the Kinvara community, with fundraising efforts bringing in more than €30,000.
“Therefore we want to donate all funds in excess of the €25,000 target (approx. €5,000+) to Kinvara Alive which is a group that promotes mental wellbeing in Stephens hometown of Kinvara.”
A coffee fundraiser which was planned before Stephen was found went ahead this morning at the Pier Head restaurant in Kinvara, as tickets had already been sold.
His family said the day could now be used to celebrate that he was found.
“We would like to again thank everyone who supported us over recent weeks,” the Warde family said.
“Words can’t describe how grateful we are to all of the people who donated, fundraised and assisted us in the search for Stephen. Thank you for helping us find Stephen.”