Mom Told Her Son Died after Birth Hugs Him for the First Time 41 Years Later

Dayna Remus
Mar 28, 2022
05:40 A.M.
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On a journey to find his biological parents, one man was stunned at the information he encountered. He had no idea he was one of the silent children of Chile. 


Living with his two loving parents in the city of Tacoma, Washington, Travis Tolliver knew he was adopted. 

Tolliver's adoptive mother and father took him in after he was abandoned. At least, that's what they were told.

[Left] Travis Tolliver and his biological mother Nelly Reyes hugging; [Right] Travis Tolliver and his biological mother Nelly Reyes. | Source:


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The duo and their son had no idea that there was a more sinister truth lurking underneath the story they were fed. 

Travis Tolliver. | Source:



At 4 p.m. on November 15, 1973, in Santiago, Chile, 19-year-old Nelly Reyes gave birth to a baby boy. Sadly, a few hours later, she recollected

"Hours later, they told me he had died."

The scenario became strange when they would not allow her to see her newborn's body, unable to touch or hug her little one goodbye. 

Nelly Reyes when she was younger. | Source:



This tragic inability to hold her son for one last time was healed in 2015 when the now 61-year-old embraced him at the airport. Travis Tolliver squeezed right back. Speaking about finally meeting his birth mom, Tolliver expressed

"I don't know how I feel. It's crazy! I never thought this could happen."

Reyes's long-lost son teared up, happy to have finally met the family he had been searching for since 2014 -- a mission he hoped would make him feel whole. 

Travis Tolliver and his biological mother Nelly Reyes. | Source:



In Chile, Tolliver is part of what they refer to as the "Children of Silence," meaning he was stolen at birth. Neither he, the adoptive nor biological family know the case's specifics. 

There is an ongoing investigation of it and hundreds of similar cases that the country's child protection agency is looking into. 

Travis Tolliver when he was a baby. | Source:



Although four decades had gone by, it was miraculous that these two found one another and could make up for this lost time. Reyes said

"I'm going to hug him every day. I love him so much."

As many of us have learned through the pandemic, being able to embrace those we love makes a huge difference. We can only imagine how it has transformed the relationship between Reyes and Tolliver. 



As Reyes can attest to, losing a baby can be heartbreaking. Sergeant Steven Garcia knows exactly how that feels.

His wife, Marina Garcia, was due to have a baby, but she broke some terrible news while he was stationed in South Korea. The newborn died during birth back in his home country of the United States of America. 


Later, however, he found out that his wife had lied to him, their child was still alive, and she had given the baby away. The father has chosen to fight to adopt his little boy. 

Individuals go through these traumatic experiences all the time. Sometimes many of them never heal from them. But, luckily some get to reunite with their loved ones, reminding us of how important family is.

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