Home Family & Relationship Coventry University Professor Abandoned as A Baby Is Helped on Journey for Answers by “Long Lost Family: Born Without Trace”

Coventry University Professor Abandoned as A Baby Is Helped on Journey for Answers by “Long Lost Family: Born Without Trace”

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A Coventry University professor who was abandoned as a baby had her efforts to find her family taken on by ITV show Long Lost Family: Born Without Trace.

Liz Deutsch, was just six weeks old when she was carefully dressed in hand-knitted clothes and a hand-knitted blanket, placed in a wicker shopping basket and left outside a sports club entrance in Edgbaston, Birmingham.

Despite numerous public appeals, Liz’s mother was never traced and she was placed into long-term foster care where she remained until the age of 16. Since then she has navigated her own path through her A-levels and university before becoming a nurse and now Professor of Nursing Practice as part of a collaboration between Coventry University’s Research Centre for Care Excellence (CCE) and University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust.

Liz first contacted the Long Lost Family team four years ago to apply to be part of the programme and the researchers took on her challenge. Liz would receive an annual email saying they were still searching and would update when they had information. That was until October 2023 when she received a phone call from the series’ producer who suggested filming, which led to the final production shown on ITV.

Liz said: “I said I wasn’t going to watch it as I was very nervous about seeing myself on television. I said I was going to go for a walk and do anything to fill the time but I did watch it and felt myself relax as I watched.

“The production team did it so sensitively; the whole process was exhausting but thoroughly revelatory and just astounding.”

In the show Liz eventually finds out the identity of her mother and what happened to her.

Liz said: “They keep that big moment for TV and my reaction now is that it has satisfied the parameters of understanding where I came from. I feel freed; not from the stigma of being in foster care as that’s a massive life issue but it has brought me some comfort and I have no regrets.”

The Long Lost Family team also managed to track down Liz’s second cousin, Christine, who she is seen meeting on the show.

“We have stayed in touch and are making gentle contact,” Liz said. “She has been brilliant and sent some beautiful emails and the photo album you see in the show she had researched herself and did a phenomenal job.

“I want to know more now – my birth father is likely to be in America. I have potential DNA connections and have to follow them up.”

While Liz’s start in life is certainly emotional and created challenges over the years, she has overcome them all including defying the belief of medical experts who said she would never walk due to problems with her back and legs. She has gone on to complete physical feats such as long-distance walks including the 180-mile Offa’s Dyke and the Thames Path.

And Liz now hopes that others – including the students she works with – can take inspiration from her story.

Liz said: “In foster care no-one will necessarily help you find your way when you leave care. I had no ‘bank of mom and dad’ – I had to navigate my own way from the age of 16 and want to leave that success as my legacy and I hope my positive attitude to life can be a benefit to our students.

“Only 2% of children who have been in care go on to complete degrees at university and my message is that foster kids are still children, they can go out there and achieve something. Most of us are very capable and just need a chance. My big chance was coming to Coventry University and the opportunities I feel gave that to me.”

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