Mary Seow was persuaded to sell her home in Singapore and move to mainland China to invest the money, only to realize it was all a scam. She lost everything. Seow tried to work her money back by sweeping streets and carrying branded goods, but it wasn’t enough to make up for what she’d lost. After making her way to Hong Kong, Seow followed the lead of other people experiencing homelessness—sleeping in a 24-hour McDonald’s. When AP ran a story about the “McRefugees,” Seow’s family saw her name quoted, and her son flew to Hong Kong to bring her home.
Then-four-year-old Raudhatul Jannah was far from the only person separated from family during Indonesia’s 2004 tsunami—but she might have been the most miraculous. Both she and her older brother were washed away as her parents tried holding to them on a floating plank of wood, and after a month of searching, they were convinced both children had drowned. A decade later, though, Raudhatul’s uncle spotted a teenage girl who looked strikingly like his missing niece. Turns out a fisherman had rescued the little girl, and his mother had raised her for ten years.