Local Dad relates to Cleveland abductions, thankful for help with son's recovery

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Reporter - Elizabeth Fields
Photojournalist - Mason Watkins

PADUCAH, Ky. - Michael Chekevdia said when he heard about the three women in Cleveland found alive a decade of captivity, he immediately thought of his own son.

"I thought, 'man, what would I have done if my son has been missing for 10 years? How would I deal with him at age 15 instead of seven," he said.

In 2007, his son was abducted at the age of five. He was found about two years later in a secret room in his grandmother's house. Chekevdia said once they were reunited, they had to rebuild their relationship.

"I had to learn about him and he had to learn about me," he said. He also said, with the help of professionals, they were able to work through some of the side-effects his son had, side effects he can only imagine the Cleveland women will have.

Mallory Thompson, a clinician at Four Rivers Behavioral Health, said he is more than likely right. Without seeing the victims for her own, it's hard to say, but says they will need all the support they can get from family and friends in the days to come.

"There's going to be a lot of different things," she said.  "Dealing with grief, depression, anxiety and mistrust with others, having to be constantly reassured, getting to know their family members all over again."
 
While Chekevdia's case and the Cleveland case may be very different in many ways, the father and the therapist agree on one thing. Time is the best thing to help heal the wounds.

"Time heals all wounds and that is just the truest statement," said Thompson.
"In my situation, it was just a matter of time,"said Chekevdia. "It got better every day."

Today, Chekevdia said his son is happy, healthy, and active.

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