Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Missing People helped save my brother-in-law



My name is Aiga. I am a 32-year-old Latvian woman living in Riga, the capital city of Latvia. I want to tell you about how the charity Missing People, helped us through a very hard time in our lives.

A year ago, I watched a TV program about missing people. I’ll never forget the desperation in their family’s eyes, but at the same time there was hope. The hope that one day a friend, relative or partner would be found. I caught myself wondering how it would be possible to disappear without any trace, and how families cope knowing that their missing loved one might be in danger.

At that time I did not know my family would, eventually, go through it too.

It was June 18, 2013. I came home from work and saw that my husband was worried. His half-brother, Raivis, was supposed to fly back home from London where he had been staying. There had been a problem with a boarding pass and he was not allowed to board. After he had missed the flight, he tried to buy a new ticket but his credit card was swallowed as he entered the wrong PIN number. Raivis suffers from acute schizophrenia and had not taken his medication for 6 months. Through the stress of the situation he had a panic attack. He could neither to think nor to react properly. His phone ran out of battery, so he had no ticket to get home, no money and no way of contacting us.

We tried desperately to get money to him, and to arrange for someone to transport him to Latvia, but his paranoid state of mind made it difficult to communicate with him and it got to a stage where we could not reach him anymore. For almost seventeen days we didn’t know where he was or whether he was safe and sound. Seventeen days might not seem a long time, for us it felt like a year.

My sister-in-law had a friend in the UK called Steve who agreed to help us find Raivis. We also made contact with the charity Missing People, through Facebook. I messaged them and got a reply as well as words of hope and encouragement; that they were ready to help any time 24/7. I gave Missing People Steve’s details and together they ensured Raivis’ missing report was finally taken seriously. After long, sleepless few weeks, Raivis was found safe and well. He had lost weight but he was alive. Raivis is now receiving treatment and is doing well!

I thank God every day for charities like Missing People and for wonderful people like Steve, who helped reunite our family.

By Aiga Matveja,
whose brother-in-law went missing in June



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Around 250,000 people go missing in the UK each year. The Missing Blog aims to give a voice to all those affected by this issue.

Written by families and friends of missing people, supporters working to raise awareness of the cause, and volunteers and staff at the charity Missing People, we hope that this blog will offer a window into the issue of missing.

The charity Missing People is a lifeline when someone disappears. To find out more about Missing People and ways that you can support the charity visit www.missingpeople.org.uk.

Call or txt the charity Missing People for free on 116 000, 24/7 if you or anyone you know is affected by a disappearance.