A dying man was granted his last wish of being reunited with his former car after his friends and family managed to track it down in his final days.
Dean Swain, aged 35, of Irthlingborough, passed away at Leicester Royal Infirmary in the early hours of today (Monday) after a two-year battle with skin cancer.
In the days before his death, Mr Swain said he would like to be reunited with his Ford Sierra Sapphire RS Cosworth, which he owned for 11 years until 2011 and which he used as his wedding car.
Mr Swain’s friend Alan Loader put a request for information on the whereabouts of the car on a number of Ford enthusiast Facebook groups. And within six hours he had tracked down Andy Booth, the current owner of the car. who lived near Mansfield.
Due to modifications, the car could not make the trip to the hospital, but Mr Booth’s friend Lee Walker used his flatbed lorry to transport the car.
Mr Swain was then able to enjoy an emotional reunion with his car outside the hospital on Thursday evening.
His cousin Dennis Munden, who was at the hospital to see the reunion, said: “He broke down in tears when he saw it again outside the hospital. The bond between man and machine is just incredible.
“Dean did an apprenticeship as a Ford mechanic and he has always loved cars from a young age.
“He was vice-chairman of the Northamptonshire branch of the Ford RS Owners Club and very passionate about Ford cars.
“He owned his Ford Sierra Cosworth and used it as his wedding car eight years ago.
“It was such a long shot in finding the car again. The chances of it happening must have been tiny.”
Mr Loader said he was amazed he had been able to track down the car as it had gone through two owners since being sold by Mr Swain.
He said: “If we had not managed to sort it out on Thursday then Dean couldn’t have done it because he took a turn for the worst on Friday. It was just amazing we will able to track down the owner in such a short space of time.”
Lee Walker, the self-employed recovery vehicle driver who spotted Mr Swain’s story on Facebook, said he wanted to help as soon as he knew he could.
He said: “As soon as I recognised the registration I contacted the owner Andy Booth and said ‘we’ve got to do this’. The story has brought a tear to my eye.”
As a result of Mr Swain’s story being shared on Facebook more than £3,000 has been donated to Macmillan Cancer Support via fund-raising page set up by his wife Kara.
To donate go to JustGivingKaraSwain