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Romford woman overwhelmed by support of public after her ill 81-year-old mother went missing

PUBLISHED: 17:03 11 June 2019 | UPDATED: 09:09 12 June 2019

Kelly White with her mum Ann White. Ann was found in West Ham after she went missing for over 24 hours. Picture: Lesley White

Kelly White with her mum Ann White. Ann was found in West Ham after she went missing for over 24 hours. Picture: Lesley White

Archant

A Romford woman was overwhelmed by the support she received when her 81-year-old poorly mother went missing from Queen's Hospital in Romford.

Ann White, 81, went missing from Romford's Queen's Hospital. Robyn Regan and Chandni Fokeer helped find Ann by putting up posters all over Havering. Picture: Kelly WhiteAnn White, 81, went missing from Romford's Queen's Hospital. Robyn Regan and Chandni Fokeer helped find Ann by putting up posters all over Havering. Picture: Kelly White

When Ann White first started displaying signs of memory loss and confusion the doctors thought she might have dementia.

After undergoing multiple tests Ann was diagnosed with encephalitis, a condition in which the brain becomes swollen.

Ann, who is originally from Barking, disappeared from Queen's Hospital in Rom Valley Way on Friday morning (June 7).

"I received a phone call saying she wasn't in her bed," said Kelly.

Ann White, 81, went missing for more than 24 hours from Queen's Hospital in Romford. She used a branch as a walking stick. Picture: Kelly WhiteAnn White, 81, went missing for more than 24 hours from Queen's Hospital in Romford. She used a branch as a walking stick. Picture: Kelly White

"We looked all over the place and nobody knew where she was.

"The whole hospital had to be checked as we didn't even know if she was still inside or if she had left the building.

"She was gone all night. It was a really hard time."

Kelly spent the night driving around the borough with family and friends. She was surprised when she discovered that one of the Queen's Hospital nurses went out of her way to join the search for Ann after her shift ended.

Ann White, 81, went missing for more than 24 hours from Queen's Hospital in Romford. Picture: Kelly WhiteAnn White, 81, went missing for more than 24 hours from Queen's Hospital in Romford. Picture: Kelly White

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Ann was eventually found at West Ham station on Saturday. Kelly said if it wasn't for social media and the support of people who didn't even know the family they wouldn't have found her mother.

She told the Recorder: "It was all through my daughter's friends Robyn Regan and Chandni Fokeer.

"They posted leaflets all through Romford, Barking and surrounding areas.

"My daughter and I were in Southend when we got a call from a man who had seen a leaflet and thought he recognised my mum.

"He gave her a cup of tea and kept her calm until the police arrived."

Ann suffered a fall during the time that she was lost and returned to the hospital with some bruising.

She told Kelly that she spent the night at West Ham station and describes the incident as having gone on an "adventure".

"Facebook was also a great help. Thousands of people shared and liked our posts," said Kelly.

"There were just so many words of support. We really would like to thank everyone so much that went out of their way to support us.

"Everyone was so wonderful."

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