Wife of man on missing jet praying for a miracle

ANNA PEARSON
Last updated 08:24 10/03/2014

As the search continues for missing Malaysian Airlines plane tensions rise for families and friends of those on board waiting for news. Paul Chapman reports

PAUL WEEKS: Had left New Zealand for a better life.
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PAUL WEEKS: Had left New Zealand for a better life.
FATHER: Paul Weeks with his two children.
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FATHER: Paul Weeks with his two children.

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The wife of a Kiwi on board a missing Malaysia Airlines jet is praying for a miracle that he will return home safely.

Danica Weeks said she was desperately waiting for news of her husband Paul, 38, one of two New Zealanders named on a passenger list for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which disappeared off the coast of Vietnam on Saturday.

"I can't give up hope. I would love him to walk through that door, hold him one more time," she told the Nine Network in Perth.

She said he left his wedding ring and watch at home.

"(He said) 'If something should happen to me then the wedding ring should go to the first son that gets married and then the watch to the second'," she said.

The couple have a three-year-old son, Lincoln, and a 10-month-old son, Jack.

She wrote on Facebook overnight: "Thank you all for your thoughts, in a place I never wanted to be, trying to gather strength for my two beautiful boys, miss my darling with all my heart x".

Also on board was Ximin Wang, 50. He lived in Auckland, the Herald on Sunday reported. Nephew Ned Wang told the paper his family were too distraught to comment. 

Wang and  Weeks, 38, were two of 227 passengers and 12 crew on the airliner travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

The search continued overnight for the missing aircraft, amid fears of foul play.

As of last night, there had been no confirmed sightings of wreckage, though a Chinese administrator said some debris had been spotted in the seas between Malaysia and Vietnam. 

Weeks was on his way to Mongolia for his new job with Transwest Mongolia, a mining and construction equipment company.

He left Christchurch for Perth in 2011 with Danica in search of a better life. 

Weeks' older sister, Sara Weeks, said her family spent yesterday gathered at her grandparents' house in Kaiapoi.

They still had hope, while ''bracing for the worst'', she said.

All they knew, apart from the fact that he was on the flight, was what had been reported in the media.

''I think we're hoping that [the aircraft] landed somewhere nicely and he's sitting having a coffee, but I think when you put two and two together ... it's not looking good.''

Sara Weeks said she spoke to Danica in Perth early yesterday morning and ''she is very, very upset - naturally. ''She is of the understanding that it's looking like the plane has crashed. She is bracing herself for the worst.''  

Sara Weeks' mother, her youngest brother and eldest daughter had all moved to Perth after her brother moved there.

They arrived in Christchurch yesterday morning, on pre-booked flights, ahead of her 40th birthday celebrations next weekend.

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But instead of a happy reunion, they spent the day glued to the television at her grandparents' house.

Weeks said her mother, who ''actually lives about two doors down [from Paul] on the same street'', saw him before he left.''

She kissed him goodbye before he got on the plane.

''He had just taken on a new role. That's why he was heading to Mongolia. He was going to be based there for a month on [at a time]. It was a really good job and he was going to be paid very well,'' she said. 

Other family and family have used social media to post tributes.

Emma Brosnahan wrote: "Such a sad day, still praying for you Pauly and hoping miracles do happen. Sending Danica Weeks & the boys as much love & strength as we can possibly muster."

Rebecca Rousselle posted: "So sad to hear this tragic news of such a great guy and an old friend. My heart goes out to his family, I can't imagine how devastating this must be and just want to send my love."

Weeks attended Aranui High School, studied at the University of Canterbury and also spent time in the New Zealand Army.

He spoke to Fairfax Media in 2012, saying he would have preferred to stay in New Zealand, but the odds were stacked against them.

''Career-wise it is far better in Australia. There is a mining boom here. I sent out 100 job applications before moving and within a week had three job offers. It is chalk and cheese with what is happening in New Zealand,'' he said.

Prime Minister John Key yesterday spoke of the ''awful ordeal'' the Weeks and Wang families must be going through. 

''The thoughts of New Zealanders everywhere are with them at this most distressing time.''

- The Press

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