Family Reunion: Broward woman finds Illinois family’s lost photo memory card

(WSVN) - A family from Illinois lost a memory card years ago and figured the irreplaceable photos were lost for good, but thanks to a Broward County woman, there’s a happy “Family Reunion.” 7’s Brian Entin reports.

The walls in this Broward home show generations of a big happy family. Pictures are a huge part of Yolanda Thompson’s life.

Yolanda Thompson: “I mean, on my phone I probably have like 2,000 pictures! It’s a memory we always like to treasure.”

Along with a house full of her own family’s photos, Yolanda also has a few that belong to someone else.

Back in 2014, she found an old photo memory card for a digital camera.

Yolanda Thompson: “I was walking out, and I saw the memory card on the ground. I’m like, ‘Oh, no. This has pictures!”

Yolanda thought someone must have dropped it, so she took it home to try to figure out who it belonged to.

Yolanda Thompson: “I put it away, and I put it away too long, because I couldn’t find it.”

The card was lost again, for five years, until she came across it while renovating her home last month.

She downloaded the pictures and came face to face with another big, happy family, but she had no idea who they were.

Yolanda Thompson “Unsolved mystery! I just want the people to have back their pictures.”

Yolanda went to work on the computer. She used clues in the family’s photos to try to track them down.

Hitting a dead end, she turned to 7News for help. We hit the jackpot, using clues we found in one picture to find the family.

Yolanda Thompson: “Right here, see?”

The picture has two headstones, one with the name Claudine R. Jackson.

We searched her name and birth date online and found an obituary from Davenport, Iowa.

Her children and grandchildren’s names were listed, which helped us track down her grandson, Todd Bryson, who lives in Carbondale, Illinois.

When we broke the news to Yolanda, she couldn’t believe the search was finally over.

Yolanda Thompson: “I was so hysterical! Like, ‘Oh, my God. That’s so great. I’m so happy. I’m so happy.'”

Todd was shocked to hear from us. While he didn’t want to go on camera, he said the pictures were taken during a family reunion in Iowa in 2010.

While he did live in South Florida in the past, he moved away 15 years ago, so he’s not sure how the card ended up in a parking lot in 2014.

As for Yolanda, she learned just how much her actions meant to Todd’s entire family.

Yolanda Thompson: “I also found out that somebody in the picture passed, like in May, so they’re excited to see the pictures just in time for Thanksgiving. Family moment.”

And it was a special moment for Yolanda as well, after her good deed created a bond connecting two families hundreds of miles apart.

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