An elderly American man is searching for his adult son, believed to be living in south east London, who he last saw aged just three.

The story of Bill Samawi, 82, came to light after he was found injured and bleeding from the head following a fall on a Los Angeles street by good Samaritan Angela Hall.

She unravelled the circumstances by which he became estranged from his son after collecting Bill from the hospital, first sharing the story with Fox 11, an LA TV station.

She said: “During that ride I asked, ‘so Bill, you told me you don't have any family, were you ever married, did you ever have kids? He said ‘yeah, I was married’ and he kind of started to sob.”

News Shopper: Angela came to Bill's aid after he fell in the street (Angela Hall)Angela came to Bill's aid after he fell in the street (Angela Hall)

Bill moved to the US from Jordan aged 18 on a student visa, settling in Los Angeles, where he met his wife Diana, who came from south London.

The couple had a blonde boy, named Steven, who was born on May 5, 1974.

Three years later, Diana was tragically diagnosed with terminal breast cancer and told she had just weeks or a month to live.

She quickly made plans to return to England, planning to spend the time she had left with her parents.

Her final wish was for Steven to be raised by a mother, Bill said, so Diana took their son with her to south London, to be taken care of by her brother Jeff Lock and his wife.

While Bill struggled to let go of his son, he felt unable to stand in the way of his wife’s dying wish.

He maintained contact with Steven over the phone, but over time communication drifted as the boy settled into his new life.

Angela said: ‘His wife's mother did call when she died.

“And Diana’s brother called a few times with details of his son's life, and they said they have a really good school that he's in and he's made friends, he's got toys, he's happy, he's transitioning and doing well.

“There was like a few more calls after that, and then he said, it just fizzled out.”

Around 50 years later, Bill is seeking a reunion.

In a strange coincidence, Steven’s family on his mother’s side wrote a letter to the News Shopper 22 years ago, appealing for him to get in touch.

According to the letter, sent in by Uncle Jeff, he left his adopted home in Bromley aged 17, moving into a nearby flat with friends, before breaking all contact in 1991.

Steven Lock, as he was raised, then 24, was described as 5ft 10ins with has fair hair.

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