Last updated at 8:51 AM on 14th June 2011
Kate McCann felt ‘totally out of control’ and was on the brink of emotional breakdown after her daughter Madeleine went missing, she revealed yesterday.
Only psychological counselling saved her, she told MPs as she called for more support for the parents of missing children.
Mrs McCann, 43, described the overwhelming sense of helplessness, saying she and husband Gerry simply ‘could not function’ after the three-year-old disappeared from their holiday apartment in Portugal in May 2007.
Sowing the strain: 'If your child goes missing, you may get nothing,' Kate McCann said today
The mother-of-three told of her torment at a Commons inquiry into whether families receive enough help when relatives disappear.
She said anguished parents were often not updated on their case and often faced difficult battles with officialdom.
‘To be left in the dark when your child is missing is unbearable, bordering on the inhumane,’ she said.
Kate McCann joined Nicki Durbin, right, and Sarah Godwin to highlight the case of their lost children Madeleine, Luke and Quentin
Madeleine McCann went missing on May 3, 2007
‘You are left with unimaginable,
unending heartbreak, confusion, guilt and worry.
'Emotional and psychological support is essential.
'As human beings, we are not equipped to deal with such profound and devastating emotion.’
The former GP said she and her
husband were lucky their holiday company flew out a trauma counsellor to
‘It is of paramount importance,’ she said.
‘We couldn’t function. It’s the first time in my life I felt totally out of control.
Assistant Chief Constable Phil Thompson, a spokesman on missing persons for the Association of Chief Police Officers, admitted in his evidence: ‘We have to do better.’
Also with Mrs McCann were Sarah Godwin, whose son Quentin was 18 when he went missing in New Zealand in May 1992 ,and Nicki Durbin, whose son, Luke, 19, vanished four years ago.
Quentin Godwin, left, was 18 when he went missing in May 1992 while Luke Durbin disappeared on May 12, 2006 aged 19
The three mothers, each holding images of their missing loved ones, faced the press ahead of the first session of the inquiry
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how much longer do we have hear from the maccans,they failed in their duty to look after their kids properly whilst having a good time with their mates,dereliction of proper care,millions spent and contributed by the public,what about the other missing kids,fed up with them blaming every one else
- george, cornwall, 14/6/2011 11:53
I'm pretty sure that everyone in this world, once in life had made a MISTAKE that can be forgiven either by yourself or others....but he McCanns are still lucky to have the two children they have got left, whom they should be focusing on...I know it may sound harshly for some...but how long will Kate accept that Madeline has gone??.....and get on with her life!!...I can sympathy how painful she has been thru and it will never go away...but Kate will have to learn to live with it and must stop whinging that nobody cares...because it was your misjudgement error that caused this sad loss of a poor child at the first place.
- That's Life, UK, 14/6/2011 11:45
How anyone can say teh McCanns dont deserve money to find Maddie is VILE.. Some of you have no brains at all this is not do with helping the McCanns and yes i admit should not have left them.. This is about an innocent child that has probably got stolen for a paedophile ring of abusers.. Think about the child you brainless dimwits
- Katy Clark , Castleford, 14/6/2011 11:41
I have no sympathy for Kate McCann or anyone else that leaves their children without supervision.
- Scott, Durham, 14/6/2011 11:40
I think the people who have no sympathy for this family really need to take a hard look at themselves. Don't you think the McCanns regret every day that they left their children alone that night, but making mistakes is what makes us human, we all make them. Unfortunately for the McCanns the consequences of their mistake was just the worst thing that could ever happen to a parent. All of you that condem them, have you never let your child out of your sight. Little Jamie Bulger's mum took her eyes off of him for 2 seconds, don't you think she regrets not hanging on to his hand. It may make you feel clever and superior to write vile comments about this family but I for one wouldn't want to walk a day in their shoes and remember none of us are perfect. I doubt if any of you can make the family feel any worse than they already do, but for your own sake, show some humanity.
- lynda, brighton, 14/6/2011 11:36
What strange people read this paper. So much hate and frothing at the mouth. I have had three children and they could have been stolen on thousands of occasions . I hope Mr and Mrs Mcann dont think we are all like the 'best rated' trolls in this paper. - dave bush, yorks, 14/6/2011 0:39 >>>>>>>>>>>>>> Dave there appears to be an organised group of rather demented individuals who creep around sites that contain stories about the McCanns with the intention of causing them as much distress as possible. I am pretty certain many of these strange people are not regular readers/commentators here.
- Claire, Derry, 14/6/2011 11:35
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