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Susan Healey talks to Flash! magazine Mm11

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Susan Healey talks to Flash! magazine

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Madeleine McCann Case Flash! magazine, 30 April 2009 (appears in paper edition only)

Maddie's mother does not leave the house and the father grows ever more distant from his wife

Even the neighbours have dissociated themselves

Susan Healey talks to Flash! magazine Susan+healyTwo years after the child's disappearance, Madeleine's grandmother Susan tells Flash! she "lost both her daughter and granddaughter that wretched night."

30 April 2009
Translation by Dr Martin Roberts

Kate McCann has become very solitary. The twins, Four-year old Sean and Amelie, are her favourite company now. She leaves the house just for them, Flash! was told by a source close to the family in Rothley, England, home of the parents of the missing child, who disappeared in the Algarve on May 3, 2007. Two years on, this fateful date coincides with Mother's Day. "I never again saw Kate's true smile. Two years later and she's still very reticent about leaving the house. She only goes out to visit the hairdresser and to take the twins to school or elsewhere. She goes to the hairdresser while her children are swimming, says the source 'phoning from Rothley.

The life of Maddie's mother now consists of little else; that and going out jogging once in a while. Kate has changed a good deal since her daughter's disappearance. She's stopped work as a doctor and dedicates herself to her children. Gerry has gone back to work. "He's much busier than she is. He goes to work by bicycle and comes home late," says the same source. He resumed activities. As for the isolation of Kate "It's dividing them more and more." "It's obvious their marriage has suffered with all of this," emphasising that they appear closer to each other when they are with the twins. Besides, "Amelie looks more like Maddie every day." The twins are now the same age as Maddie was when she disappeared.

Kate's mother told Flash! that her daughter and son-in-law are fond of each other despite everything: "Gerry and Kate are very good friends. They care for each other and suffer together. They continue life together for Sean and Amelie's future happiness."

Even the Rothley community has distanced itself from the pair, just like the people of Luz. "When they go to Mass, some of the older folk continue to offer support, but generally the town's population is colder towards them." Nowadays the McCanns are not a part of the area's social scene, unlike before. "They are insular." According to the source the residents are tired of the media, that's why they distance themselves. At most the house is visited by close family and three others "of the group of nine friends (seven friends) who were with them in the Algarve when Maddie disappeared, that is David and Fiona Payne and Jane Tanner, as they are connected with them."

"Kate never did intend to commit suicide"

Lacking support from the community and friends, the former involvement of Gerry and without her daughter Madeleine, Kate feels very much alone. "It is noticeable that Gerry feels rather better than she does about things." And yet, "she never attempted suicide" as was claimed. Both the source and Kate's own mother Susan Healy have told the magazine that. "That's absurd. You cannot begin to imagine what it takes for me to respond to that. My daughter has gone through a lot these two years past. Living's not easy when you don't know where your daughter is, my granddaughter Madeleine, but she would never attempt suicide. She loves Sean and Amelie. They're her reason for living," said Kate's furious mother. Once calm, albeit still preoccupied for her daughter, Susan Healy continues: "I cannot say things are good. I lost my daughter at the same time as I lost my granddaughter that wretched night two years ago. I shudder to think of it, the more so when it's said she's tried to kill herself."

Nor does another source close to the family believe it: "She didn't manage to return to work, to her normal life. She's obviously depressed, but I don't believe she would attempt suicide. She's a rational mother above all who would always think of Sean and Amelie, even in those darkest moments." According to this female friend, Kate has also cut down on her own medication. "She's already given up anti-depressants. Now she takes something with the same benefit but gentler. Despite everything she's gained a little weight and is concerned to look good when she leaves the house." As to the forthcoming date of 3 May, husband and wife are most likely to remain in England with the family. Anyway, for Kate, "Returning to Portugal's unthinkable at the minute. I can't." More self-assured, Gerry McCann has returned twice already to our country. As he often emphasised, he and Kate are determined to find their daughter Madeleine, now six years old.
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