Keeley Donovan meets a woman whose husband disappeared in Spain to learn how a change in the law could help her and other families with missing loved ones.
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Welcome to Inside Out but Yorkshire and Lincolnshire where for the
first show of 2013, we are here at sold's mill.
I know that Gordon is not coming back, and of all my heart has
accepted it, my head does not. Waiting for news about waiting for
a missing person, could a long-hop those trapped in limbo? If I could
run away by now, have this has also my hand, but I know I do not have a
choice. We follow one woman's personal battle against a brain
tumour as she undergoes radical Am celebrating the life of the
Yorkshire innovator, Frederick Delius.
Just imagine how you would feel if someone close to you suddenly
disappear. It is like a bereavement without a body had for some
families, it is a mystery that never gets solved. Wendy's husband
disappeared last year and she is in a limbo between believing he is
dead but not having any proof. We have been looking at how a change
in the law could help Wendy and This is the market town where Wendy
has left for the past 30 years. But her life was torn apart after a
summer holiday with her husband. These are shops that are specific
look -- specifically of Nerja. Wendy's husband Gordon was a keen
walker as well as an accomplished amateur photographer. This is the
sort of terrain that he would be walking in. He took time and
patience on photography. He loved wildlife, birds, animals, he would
just sit for hours, to get the right shot. He just loved being
outdoors. So he was a real explorer? Yes. He saw beauty in
things that we would just, you know, pass by. We would not even notice.
Last July, when they went on holiday to Spain, Gordon went
walking in the mountains, but he never came back. He has not been
seen since. I know that Gordon is not coming back. And although my
heart has accepted it, my head does not. I still think that he is going
to come in, you know. Since then, Wendy's life has been in limbo.
Because she cannot prove her husband is dead, she cannot even
get access to many of the family finances. There is nothing, nothing
that I have had to deal with has been straightforward. I have no
life assurance, the Gordon, so there is no big sums of money to
come. It was just for the tour bus, for our old age, basically. So that
we could live modestly, but comfortably. Sadly, Wendy is not
the only one. Other families say the existing legal system makes
things harder when a loved one disappears. Do you remember Steven
Cooper? He stayed up to watch telly and his partner went to bed. Hours
later, she will cut to find he and his car had gone.
Five years ago, Steven Cooper went missing from his home in
Huddersfield. He has not been seen since. It is so difficult, because
if he had committed suicide, had he had been found, we would be able to
go to the grave. We would be able to put flowers on the grave. But we
have not got that. Three days after he disappeared, Steven's car was
found abandoned in the Scottish Highlands, near Loch Laggan.
have got to be realistic. He is nowhere to be found. There had been
no sightings of him. What do you do? You have got to carry on, you
have got to hope that he is alive, but in the back of your mind, you
know he probably will not be. Despite repeated searches, nothing
else has been found. That means his family, like Wendy, cannot get
official confirmation that Steven is dead. It is a fight that
families do not want to have to go through. It is adding to the stress,
adding to the upset that they are being put through this. To declare
somebody that means the world to them as dead. There are moves to
change the law, so production of Death Certificate can be issued,
making it easier for relatives and a member -- won a member of the
family goes missing. As the new bill works its way through
Parliament, the charity Missing People is calling for greater
awareness of the burden on families in these circumstances. Families
might want to look after the missing person's financial and
legal affairs while they are missing because they hope they will
come back. We will look to get something similar to a power of
attorney which would allow them to retain a missing person's affair.
But at the moment, nothing exists in law for the missing person to be
able to do that. For Wendy, the new bill will make life a little easier,
but it will not solve the mystery of what really happened to her
husband. She is going back to Spain to retrace his final journey into
Wendy is back in Nerja, and back at the hotel where she last saw Gordon.
I get quite a calm feeling when I am here. One is because that the
hotel is familiar to us, we have had many happy holidays here. The
other is that I feel that by coming back, I am coming closer to Gordon
again. Spanish police say they are still hoping Gordon will be found,
but they cannot be sure. TRANSLATION: As time goes by, the
more difficult it becomes, and the chance of actually finding the spot
where he had the accident grows less. The area is craggy, so it
needs specialist material like It is early morning. Wendy is
following Gordon's's route out of Nerja. She is with Michiel
Tweehuijsen, a local guide. Gordon left the hotel at 6am, after making
detailed plans for a two-day walk into the mountains. It is morning,
it is six o'clock, the son get up at that time of the year. Gordon
was heading for El Cadena, a mountain he had tried to climb
twice before. This is Nerja, this whole National Park. 14,500
hectares. There is no one living here. This is the way that he
started walking in the morning from where we left. To where we are at
the moment. He would have taken his water for the work. -- for the walk.
He followed the river. That is why he wanted to be the first day of
walking. We have been searching all the springs and rivers. It is
looking for an eagle in a big mountain of hay. -- and Lidl. But I
will not give up. Gordon was on his own, and it was July, when
temperatures could hit 45 degrees at midday. As most people who know
Gordon, if he saw a couple of ibex down of the track and he got a
would be a good photograph, he would follow them. We can only
assume now because he has not been found on any of the main tracks,
that that is possibly what he has done for so we can see what it is
like all around here. If you fell down under these bushes and trees,
what are the chances of being able to be seen? Wendy has reached the
end of her journey. This is as near as she can get to Gordon's
destination, the cloud covered summit of El Cadena. I do feel
close, you know, in a strange way. Yes, it is where he is, for me, at
the moment, until we know anything different. He is here. But it is
just finding him that is difficult. The new law won't bring Gordon back.
But Wendy is hoping that eventually, Every year, over a thousand people
are diagnosed with brain tumours. It is a member patients described
as having a ticking timebomb in your head. Debbie has let her
follow her fight against the tumour would our cameras. This film does
contain some images of brain Debbie is 38 years old and is
having an operation to remove part of a brain tumour the size of an
egg. She is wide awake and can see and hear everything that is going
on. Drilling through the skull is immensely noisy, there is a lot of
pressure, a deafening noise of the drill, so the skull acts like a
sounding board. The operation will not cure Debbie, but it may delay
her tumour from becoming more aggressive and potentially
cancerous. It is a terminal illness. To go through such a massive
experience, knowing that actually it is not going to do me an awful
lot of good in the long-term, is really difficult. Debbie has
invited us to film her operation to raise awareness about brain tumours,
and to show what it is like to live with one. Debbie lives in
Huddersfield with her husband and two children. Life has changed
dramatically for them over the last six years since the discovery that
Debbie had a brain tumour. We were just married. We had a small child.
We were looking at planning our future, my career was going well.
Suddenly, it was all swept away. It just felt like freefall. Debbie's
brain tumour is slow-growing, or low-grade, but it could change and
become malignant at any stage. call it a watch and wait. They want
to see if anything is going to change. It is it really anxious
period. It is kind of in normal life, then into hospital life, it
This is the front and this wide area is the brain tumour. A lot of
patients talk about a ticking timebomb and they know what they
have a tumour that is not cancer but it can change and that is very
difficult psychologically for some patients.
Are you prepared for the surgery and you have the support?
By things have been quite good. will travel to London for co-
operation, and a week craniotomy, that means they will remove part of
the tumour at I she is awake. hoped that the time for it to
become malignant will be reduced so it will increase her survival time
and prognosis. It feels it will now I have sat down and talked about it
and I have seen the jumar on screen, it seems real. -- tumour. A bit
breathless at the minute. It is the date of the operation and she will
be in theatre for over three hours, conscious the whole time. The if I
could, I would run away, but I have no choice about this. This is an
exploratory operation to see how much of the tumour I can remove.
am incredibly anxious and very fearful for my family who are
waiting because I know what they will be going to. -- going through.
The first part of the operation involves removing the top of her
skull. Normally, patients would be anaesthetised for this, but in
Debbie's case, they want to keep her awake. There could be
difficulty controlling her airways so although it will be difficult
for her, we will have her awake throughout. It that it? That is it.
All the groundwork is done. I do not like doing it. As a doctor,
and you do not like doing unpleasant things to people, but it
does not heard. Or you all right? I am all right.
Once they can see the brain, they stimulate different areas, to
identify how much is tumour and how much is healthy tissue.
I am going to start with what might be the sensory part for your left
leg inside your body. Do you feel any funny feelings? Yes, in my
foot! Right at the bottom. This may produce movement. In my left arm,
it moved. That is motor, that is sensory. That was a hand twitching.
Consistently? Yes. I am going to stop removing some of this tumour
and by checking her movement, hopefully I will not stray into the
motor area. A open your eyes, big smile, stick
your tongue out, perfect. Squeeze your hand, Paul Reid towards you,
in the air, down again -- pull your hand. Turn it round. The operation
has been on for over an hour. is extraordinary is that Debbie is
a break and can help them if I she tells them which part of her body
feel funny as they remove part of the tumour. That is the cheek and
that is the on and that his hands, so it is spread out widely stop
mind --. -- arm. But it quickly becomes apparent that removing even
small amounts of the tumour is making it difficult for Debbie to
move her left leg. Is the work we go? He definitely
weaker than it was before the operation. -- is the lake and
weaker at. -- leg. But things don't improve and the surgeon decides to
call it a day. I had to stop because I made it weaker, but if
that gets better quickly, which it probably will, there is the option
of another operation and in later date. You are fighting a battle in
a losing war or to many but it might be worth considering.
ultimately. In the end, they only manage to remove about 10% of the
tumour, which is much less than was originally hoped.
Three weeks later, and Debbie is back at home recovering from her
surgery, and she is upbeat about how the operation went.
It is better having some of Robert found that none of it out so for me
it was a success. -- some of it. And I found an inner strength to
cope with something I thought I would not be able to cope with.
Debbie is one of thousands of people living in the UK with a
brain tumour, but she believes there needs to be more research and
a greater awareness, which is why she invited the cameras in.
I wanted people to be a part of my journey, a part of what I am
experiencing, to try to understand that there are so many of us who
are the silent ones. Debbie may face more operations in the future,
but for now, she must watch and When it comes to that for's most
famous son, David Hockney probably takes the title -- Bradford's most
famous art. But he does have a rival. Delius was born 150 years
ago in Bradford. We have been looking back at a life of one of
The work of the composer Delius. It is a story which put Bradford at
the centre of world music. A rebel who rejected his parents' religion
and swapped his family business for the love of his life. Music.
The classical composer Frederic Delius was the ultimate non-
conformist. He has always been in the category to himself. Of Taik-
Lee single man do it -- single- minded, egotistical about what you
wanted to achieve -- and the means by which she wanted to achieve that.
-- he wanted. It is 150 years since Delius was born just a stones'
throw away from this bustling city centre. But his contribution, both
home and abroad, still resonates across cultures around the world.
And today, one of those whose music he inspired, world-reknowned
violininst Tasmin Little, whose father is from Bradford, has
returned to the city to learn a bit more about her hero.
First stop, the German church where a young Delius soaked up his first
musical influences, while worshiping with his family.
It is wonderful to be here, it really is, and to think of him
being here as a young boy sitting board in the congregation. He ended
up as a complete atheist! family were part of a wave of
German immigrants who came to establish a strong identity within
the city's wool trade. Their growing wealth evidenced in their
own stained glass window here. They're off from a German family
and music and church -- may off from. Quite the puritanical family
and the family have made up their minds to go into the will and Trade
and it turned out very differently! -- of the war when decade.
-- woolen trade. What makes it special is the use of harmony, it
is very lyrical and singing. He loved nature and he loved walking
on the moors, and as a young boy, he wanted to run away from home. He
tried to run away with his younger brother until they took with them
was a bag of sweets! They were found along the moors with an empty
bag of sweets and sent off home. He was always eager to immerse himself
in nature. While nature may have been his first Love, he had to
fight to find it. According to local historian Irene Lofthouse,
when Delius was set to work at his father's warehouse in the thick of
Bradford's grimy wool industry, he was like a fish out of water.
Imagine all these males full of working looms and people and clogs
-- cotton mills. It would have been really noisy. It would also have
been filled the. -- a filthy. All this grubbiness wasn't for Delius.
He had his own ideas. Instead of picking up the family business, he
threw himself into music, travelling around the world for
inspiration. And as Tasmin and I are about find
out, his rich musical legacy is being used in a variety of creative
A few miles from the family's warehouse is the Delius Special
School, where music is a key part of the curriculum, in an
environment where children have a variety of profound learning
disabilities. Here, music is a vital means of
communication, and Tasmin is keen to share her passion.
So on times, in springtime, there is a thunderstorm and the thunder
goes like this -- sometimes. And the like mink goes like this.
Delius himself, Tasmin is keen to break down musical barriers, an
attitude which is at the heart of this school's work. We have got
children who are autistic and they have difficulty expressing their
emotions in a normal situation. But give them music and talk to them
about emotion through music and they can be as expressive and
interested in opening Gupta people as anybody else, so it is quite
wonderful -- opening up to people. Delius wanted his work to connect
with the soul, and the curriculum here would be music to his ears.
As Delius grew up, he moved away from Bradford, but continued to
rebel against authority. His tastes became ever more bohemian, reaching
a peak while mixing with the impressionists and philosophers in
Paris. He loved good wine, he loved a cigar, he loved beautiful women,
and ultimately people -- he paid the price for this in his later
life. After Delius's years of debauchery in France, he went blind
and needed constant care. His life was turned into a BBC film by the
legendary director Ken Russell. knew Scarborough when I was a boy,
when we used to live in Bradford, a filthy place! By this time, he had
already travelled to America, Scandinavia and Germany, fusing the
musical traditions of everywhere he went into his own distinctive style.
And want you to imagine we are sitting on the cliffs looking out
onto the sea -- I want you. Delius was a maverick throughout his life.
But the multi-cultural influences of his music was too much for some.
The British public wanted patriotism and, just as Delius was
reaching his peak, his style was overshadowed by a piece of music
that gave them what they were Algar was regarded as the bright
new hope for British music. Elgar. My know get the raced out of
the British musical history as a result -- Delius gets taking out.
Mack Subsequently, it was Elgar, and not Delius, who came to define
his musical generation. represents the diverse community
Bradford is today, diverse constituents. National boundaries
were not important to Delius. Delius may simply have been ahead
of his time. As part of Tasmin's visit, she is performing a gala
concert in the city's cathedral. Before she leaves, there is just
time to squeeze in a visit to the place where this musical journey
all began, Delius's birth place in Claremont Road, now the base for an
international relief organisation, and a chance for us to reflect on
his career. He was an outsider in the very next
Bradford at the time. -- a mixed. That is right, and although he was
an outsider and must have felt the clash between being in Bradford but
having the strong German roots, that almost turned into the story
of his success the curse he resisted the path that was set out
for him and in resisting it, he made it very clear his own
individual path. And that is a path which the people of Bradford at
least are happy to follow, as tonight, a sell-out crowd enjoys
Delius's music being played in the city which has continued to cherish
During the different things we have done today, it has definitely
brought me closer to the early part of his life, to see the place he
would have gone to to do his day's work. Far removed from Delius the
musician, so it has brought the man That is it for tonight, and if you
Three stories from Yorkshire and Lincolnshire presented by Toby Foster. Keeley Donovan meets a woman whose husband disappeared in Spain, to find out how a change in the law could help her and other families with missing loved ones.