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Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Missing?.............



I have been reminded recently of the agony my parents went through when I went missing as a 12 year old. I wasn’t really missing, I knew exactly where I was, but unfortunately my parents didn’t!

It was a normal day at Secondary School but during my P.E. lesson I somehow managed to hurt my ankle so badly that I couldn’t walk on it at all. The teacher in charge of First Aid had me sitting with my foot in cold water for a couple of hours until it was decided that I needed to go to the hospital for an xray. The hospital was literally five minutes down the road from my school, so one of the teachers was enlisted to take me and a sixth form student to look after me.

I’d been at the hospital from about 2 p.m. and by 6 p.m. my fractured ankle had been plastered up and I was sitting in a wheelchair waiting to go home. The sixth-former took her leave and so I waited, and waited, and waited. By this time I was getting a bit frightened. The hospital staff asked if my parents had been informed but I didn’t know. We didn’t have a telephone, though my aunt (who lived next door) did, but I didn’t know her number. I presumed the school had the number and had taken the responsibility of letting my parents know where I was.

Meanwhile, when I hadn’t arrived home by 5.00 p.m., half and hour later than my usual time, my mother had frantically got in touch with my father’s employers to tell him to come home. Mum had tried ringing the school but there was no reply. As soon as my father got home he asked my uncle if he would take him to my school, which was about 15 minutes away by car, and help him search for me, which of course he agreed to do.

I was getting more and more upset that my parents hadn’t come to get me, I had no idea that they didn’t know I was at the hospital, and at 7.30 p.m. when my Dad walked into the A&E department I just burst into tears with relief, as did Dad and uncle.

Once we got home Dad told me how he and uncle had driven around in the vicinity of the school hoping to find me, then Dad noticed a couple of girls wearing the same uniform as me and stopped to ask if they knew me. It was this chance meeting that gave Dad the news that I’d been taken to hospital with an injured ankle, and brought him to my rescue.

Needless to say the next morning my mother was waiting outside the Headmistresses’ office demanding to know why they hadn’t informed her I’d been taken to hospital. I don’t know what excuse was given but obviously it wasn’t enough because Mum made a formal complaint against the school. What the outcome was I’m not sure and we moved house and school not long afterwards, so obviously there were never any more problems as far as that school went.

If only all cases of missing children were that simple.

43 comments:

Skittles said...

Oh I can imagine how frantic your parents must have been!

citizen of the world said...

My younger son as a toddler went missing in a crowded park, and I have to say that that time I was frantically looking for him was probably the most frightening of my life.

Dumdad said...

Every parent's worst nightmare. Luckily, in your case all ended well. But your poor parents must have been hyperventilating in panic; I would have been!

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

I would have been frantic had what happened to you and your parents happened to me and my sons. It must have been horrible for all of you.

buffalodickdy said...

I grew up in a time that if you were late- you'd better have a broken limb!

Sivle said...

I finished 'Where There Is Evil' yesterday.
I'm rather shaken up by it now...

MarmiteToasty said...

Goodness, can you imagine how much trouble the school would be in today over that.....

I did run away when I was 3 with my 5 year old brother from the house of a woman that was suppose to look after us, we opened the back gate and walked 6 miles into town LOL...... I can actually remember it crystal clear... we were bought back by a police car, we have been gone for 8 hours and the woman had not even reported us missing, it was just the copper saw us 2 tiny nippers sitting on a bench in town with no adults..... the woman then threatened if we told our parents then we would be beaten.... but we use to get beaten anyways by our parents, so that was no threat, but there was also no need to tell me parents, and that way we could make our escape another time LOL which we did....... can you imagine if I let one of my nippers that I childmind escape...... bloody hell lol....

X

Josh said...

I can't imagine what it would be like to not know where my child is. I'm glad it was a simple mixup.

Mother of Invention said...

Man, this sure wouldn't happen today! We teachers are constantly phoning parents just to cover butt and keep them informed of daily things. We have to fill in accident forms for the least little thing.

Flowerpot said...

I cant think of anything worse than losing a child.

storyteller said...

Reading your personal story reminded me of the time I was ‘broadsided’ on my way to work one afternoon. I called my sister who followed me home where we left my car (seriously crunched on the driver’s side where the gal who ran the red light struck me) in the driveway while she drove me to the insurance guy’s office. I wasn't injured and we didn’t think to leave a note on the car or in the house and my folks freaked when they got home before we did. Cell phones have changed all this I suppose, but in many ways life was so much simpler then. Thanks for sharing. One of my favorite quotes says something like, “When we tell our stories, others remember theirs.” That’s what happened today.
Hugs and blessings,

CG said...

Kate went missing once and I'll never forget the fear!!

Linda said...

Oh my gosh, how frightful! I can't believe that no one from your school bothered to contact your parents and let them know what had happened. Your poor parents must have been frantic wondering what had happened to you.

You're right, it's too bad that all cases of missing children didn't have a good outcome like this.

Akelamalu said...

They were sick with worry Skittles.

It's the worst feeling in the world isn't it Citizen!


It's a feeling you never forget Dumdad.

I think it was worse for my parents Nick, I knew I was OK.

Me too, so it's lucky I had the fractured ankle Buffalo!

It's harrowing isn't it sivle?

Oh Marmie you were getting into scrapes even as a nipper weren't you? As you say though you would be up in court if you let anything like that happen to the children you look after.

Yes it all turned out well in my case thank goodness Josh :)

Things have definitely been tightened up in the last 40+ years MOI.

Neither can I Flowerpot :(

I can just imagine how your folks felt Storyteller and that saying is so true!

The fear is paralysing for sure CG!

It was really bad as far as the school went Linda, it wouldn't happen today.

Autumn said...

Oh my goodness, that must have been a horrible day for both you and your parents. Now days a hospital would not treat a child without there parents consent, and the school would not be allowed to take you, but I am glad things turned out ok.

Autumn said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Akelamalu said...

Yep you're right Autumn. I work in a school and if a child has to go to hospital we have to contact the parent to meet them there.

Akelamalu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

oh my GOSH! your poor parents and poor you too!!! how awful!

hugs, bee
xoxoxoxooxoxoxo

Ron said...

OMG...I can't believe the school did not call your parents!?!?!?!

In today's world a parent would probably apply some sort of legal action!

What a horrendous scare for YOU and your PARENTS, Akelamalu.

Whewww...so glad the "angels" helped out on this!

Smalltown RN said...

it must be a hormone day for me...I was reading this and almost started to cry...I can imagine the panic in your parents....you confusion and saddness for why they hadn't arrived to get you...the utter relief you poor father and uncle must have felt when they finally found you....my heart was beating fast for all of you.....so glad all worked out in the end...

Akelamalu said...

It was awful at the time Bee :(

My parents thanked the angels once they'd found me Ron! :)

Yes thankfully it all ended well RN, I just wish it could be the same for all missing children. :(

Julia Smith said...

Glad that worked out for all of you, Akelamalu. Scary, all the same.

When I worked at the theatre, there were lost kids every now and then. And we'd keep them up at the front doors until we reunited them with their parents, or whoever had brought them. Some of those little guys were so brave, even though you could tell they were a nervous wreck inside. And there was never any doubt who they were with. The reunions were very heartfelt, even though their separation must have only lasted 20 minutes. But it's the scariest 20 minutes of their lives.

MarmiteToasty said...

((((((((((ake))))))))fanks, just fanks....

and the song that is playing has made the tears roll down me face....

x

Jo Beaufoix said...

Akela, you must all have been very scared. My Aunt was dragged into a car when she was younger and assaulted. She managed to escape by jumping from the vehicle. If she's not escaped, my cousin, her brother and my cousin's 4 beautiful children would not be around. I can't imagine that. It is too awful. Shiver.

kathyann said...

How awful to be reminded of that traumatic time again,no matter how often you put it to the back of your mind it has come back to upset you again!
Iam not suprised your parents moved house and school!This should not have happened,the school did everything they shouldn't have done!Some schools are better than others and thankfully safeguards are in place these days!I really feel for parents who have to deal with situations like this!My daughter came close to being picked up by a pervert in a car,and luckily she gave a good enough discription to the police who were impressed by how much she remembered!I was so proud of her for doing everything right to get away from this man and so relieved it turned out ok,it could have been so much worse!Take care,Love from Kathyann and the girls from meg's mum's muffins

Travis said...

Now that would be scary on both sides!

Dave said...

Wow! I have no doubt that if that were nowadays, that teacher would have been suspended or fired.

As a parent we can only imagine what goes through our minds during times like that!

Akelamalu said...

We once lost our youngest son on Blackpool pier - I've never been so frightened in all my life but he wasn't worried Julia! :(

Not sure what you're thanking me for Marmie but you're welcome honey. xx Sorry the song made you cry.

I was worried that I'd be there in the hospital forever Jo!

Thanks for dropping in Kathyann. Oh my God you must have been so relieved that your daughter was sensible enough to get away from that car - what a star!

It was Trav!

It definitely wouldn't happen today Dave.

Cindy said...

If that happened to one of my kids, I'd be frantic and furious, too. Glad it all turned out okay, though.

Akelamalu said...

It's your worst nightmare isn't it Cindy!

Mary said...

Your parents must have been relieved, but I don't blame your mother for putting in a formal complaint against the school. It was their responsibility to inform her.

Enjoyed my visit.
Blessings,
Mary

Akelamalu said...

Yes there was relief all round Mary, thanks for dropping by.

david mcmahon said...

Sorry I've been AWOL for so long. What an unnerving experince this would have beeb for you as a 12-year-old and also for your parents.

Akelamalu said...

Indeed it was Davaid!

Nea said...

Wow, what a mixup. I would have been frantic if it were my child, as I am sure your parents were also.

Over the years, I have had two things done by schools that was so totally irresponsible it boggles the mind. I know they are human, but sometimes people just don't think I guess.

Akelamalu said...

I think what happened was everyone thought another person had let my parents know what had happened to me when in fact no-one had Nea - as you say sometimes people just don't think because they're human.

Misty Dawn said...

Oh my gosh! That must have been terrifying for all of you!

John-Michael said...

Your telling of the moment was so fresh and alive, that I sensed that you were in the very same awareness that was yours at the time, whilst writing of it. You had me completely engaged.

Daryl E said...

Amazing .. if that happened here in the States you wouldnt have been taken to hospital w/o your parents permission .. how scared you had to be .. how horrible it was for your parents .. and how well told that was!

David sent me.

Akelamalu said...

Yes it was Misty

Why thank you John-Michael and thank you for visiting me. :)

I think it was just a breakdown in communication Daryl, usually parents were informed first. Thanks for popping in and commenting. :)

elena jane said...

how scary for your parents and yourself...a good ending is much better.
my son and his friend went missing for an evening earlier this year. it was, of course, a simple failure to communicate, but it was scary nonetheless!

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