Family's fear for missing Susan

FOR five tortuously long days the family of Susan Gates Grimwood have lived with the desperate hope that she will be found alive.Today the missing Kesgrave woman's former husband, Terry, appealed for the 48-year-old to contact her loved ones and tell them she is safe and well.

FOR five tortuously long days the family of Susan Gates Grimwood have lived with the desperate hope that she will be found alive.

Today the missing Kesgrave woman's former husband, Terry, appealed for the 48-year-old to contact her loved ones and tell them she is safe and well.

The mother-of-two, who has a history of severe depression, was last seen walking towards Woodbridge railway station on Sunday after being dropped off by taxi outside Deben swimming pool. She had gone to the town after discharging herself from St Clement's in Ipswich.

When she left the Foxhall Road hospital she was only wearing a black dress with a white flower pattern, a white cardigan, a long dark coat, and a dark, wide-brimmed, round felt hat, to combat the harshest winter for ten years.

Mr Gates Grimwood fears 20 years of battling the debilitating condition Lupus had sapped his ex-wife's will to such an extent that she may have been contemplating suicide.

Now he and their two children, Luke 20, and Faye, 18, spend their days praying she will return to them.

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Mr Gates Grimwood, who still lives at the family home in St Olaves Road, said: "I am concerned because she went (from St Clement's) with so little stuff. I am worried she's taken her own life, because she's taken nothing with her.

"Our children Luke and Faye are desperate to know where she is. All her family and friends are worried about her. It's just a gnawing and constant worry, but we are trying to carry on.

"I just wish she would contact us. I don't even need to know where she is, just so long as she contacts us to tell us she is all right.

"I am very concerned if she is out in this weather, especially if she is wandering around. She is very malnourished. She has not eaten properly for several months. She wouldn't stand up to this weather for long. I just hope she is safe and warm somewhere. I don't mind where it is, as long as she is safe and warm.

"Susan's been in St Clement's for four months, but she has been ill for almost 20 years. I think the pressure of being ill has become psychological. It is just the sheer pressure and struggle of being ill for so long."

The 48-year-old BT worker said his former wife had discharged herself from St Clement's on Friday but was re-admitted on Saturday.

Mr Gates Grimwood said: "Susan phoned me later that evening to say it was a nice ward and she was being looked after all right.

"She has absconded from St Clement's on two occasions. Once she went to friends. The other time she was trying to catch some sort of transport out of the county."

In a bid to help find Mrs Gates Grimwood, posters have been put up around Kesgrave and police have put out an appeal for anyone who believes they may have seen her to telephone Woodbridge police station on 01473 613500.

So few have heard of it, yet worldwide it is seen as more common than leukaemia, multiple sclerosis and muscular dystrophy.

More than 30,000 people have the condition in the UK of whom 90 per cent are female. Men and young children can also be affected by lupus.

The ratio of women to men who are affected is 9 to1.

Lupus is an auto immune illness, a type of self-allergy, where a patient's immune system creates antibodies which instead of protecting the body from bacteria and viruses attack the person's own body tissues.

This causes symptoms of extreme fatigue, joint pain, muscle aches, anaemia, general malaise and can result in the destruction of vital organs. It is a condition with many manifestations. Each person's profile or list of symptoms is different. Lupus can mimic other conditions, such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis, making it difficult to diagnose.

Source: www.uklupus.co.uk

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