Worried family members and police were celebrating earlier this week, when British woman, Norah Garratt, was found four days after going missing from a Benidorm hotel.
Sixty-three year old, Norah, an Alzheimer patient from Northampton, had last been seen at around 05.15h on the morning of Saturday, November 24th.
She was spotted leaving the Gran Hotel Bali, in the La Cala de Benidorm area of the resort, wearing only denim jeans and a long-sleeved, cream rugby shirt with blue stripes.
When Norah left the building, she had no money, credit cards, ID documents, handbag, mobile phone or warm clothing on her person.
Soon after her disappearance, her husband, son, daughter and two cousins who were in Benidorm, made an appeal on social media outlets to help find their relative.
Several witnesses came forward claiming to have seen someone matching Norah’s description, but these were all timed before Saturday afternoon.
By last Tuesday, four days after she went missing, there had been no further reported sightings since, leaving both Police and relatives worried that she may have strayed away from populated areas of the resort into the nearby countryside.
Flyers with a recent photo of Norah had been distributed to bars, businesses, tourists and taxi drivers, by family and volunteers, in the hope of people coming forward with new information.
Each hour that passed increased the precariousness of the situation, as Norah was described as a scared, confused Alzheimers patient, who only speaks English, but could possibly remember her anniversary date and maiden name, which is Byrne.
A post on the page of resident Harry Kroesen, was shared scores of times by concerned Facebook users, moved by the message, which read “NORAH GARRATT is 63 years old and suffering from Alzheimer…. just imagine this was your Grandma, Mother or Auntie… PLEASE HELP!
We cannot do this alone…. 3 valuable days already gone……… WE NEED TO FIND HER!
One comment by Jacqui Perkins read, “ Please keep your eyes open in the streets and in parks to find Norah???! Make an extra round TODAY with your dog in more desolate places just to make sure she is not there?!”
A coordinated search of the area around the Gran Hotel Bali was organised for the afternoon of last Tuesday 27th November, with volunteers joining the family and police officers in an effort to unearth more clues to Norah’s disappearance.
As family members and volunteers gathered to conduct the search, the good news was relayed to the group, explaining that Norah had been found by at 13.00h, by local police, alerted by a resident from La Nucia, who had heard a voice coming from a neighbouring ravine, known as a Barranco.
The police officers, descending into the ravine and were able to rescue Norah, who although in a confused state, appeared in otherwise good health, despite her four-day ordeal.
The search included the participation of Benidorm Local Police and the Benidorm Fire Brigade who provided several vehicles and an Alfa 1 helicopter.
Norah was immediately transferred by the Red Cross/Cruz Roja to the Marina Baixa Hospital in Villajoyosa, where she remains under observation.
Family members joined with both Local and National Police, in thanking everyone for their continuous help and support during the search for Norah.