MADELEINE father tearfully insisted yesterday that she is still alive — and he will be reunited with her for a cuddle. Gerry Mccann revealed he has “painful” dreams about his girl, who vanished aged three in 2007 on holiday in Portugal.
Here’s a timeline of events of the fateful evening:
Sobbing as he spoke, the surgeon, 52, said: “It’s almost like an instinctive reaction… it’s just a feeling… but I do feel we will be reunited. I just want to hug her and hold her and cry… a lot”.
Gerry gave the most harrowing account yet of the ordeal he and wife Kate, 52, have suffered since Maddie vanished at the Ocean Club in Praia da Luz.
He told of Kate ‘s screams at the discovery — and how the couple are plagued by thoughts of her being “abused”.
Gerry remains convinced Maddie is still alive, despite police probes failing to shed any light on her whereabouts.
He said: “I thought about it a lot early on and what I was confident about is whatever had happened, Madeleine was still alive and is still alive”.
“There’s never a day goes by I don ‘t think about Madeleine and the situation and what might have happened. I have dreamed about her, including in the last months. They’re painful when they happen”. Gerry revealed his agony in a BBC Radio 4 programme about the bond between fathers and daughters.
It was broadcast as the Home Office last night considered whether to grant funds to continue the seven -year Met probe.
Gerry told of how Maddie’s siblings Sean and Amelie, now 13, gave them a reason to carry on. He said: “The twins kept us going. Having two other children, trying to make sure they had enough love and attention was important. I don’t know what it would have been like without them.
“It would have been even worse if she had been our only child. Thank God Sean and Amelie have had each other , but that they’ve missed out on having such a lovely big sister is painfull”.
Gerry said he will look at Amelie and how she has developed and wonder what Maddie would look like. He added that anniversaries and birthdays are hard — but also seeing the twins go through the stages that Madeleine would.
Gerry choked back tears as told of memories holding her and watching her go swimming or run around their gar den before watching Doctor Who.
He said: “The relation ship I had with Madeleine was special. All parents think that their child is amazing but some of the stuff I was able to do with Madeleine — the conversations, her character — it was really fantastic”.
Gerry also spoke of the moment he realized Maddie was missing on May 3, 2007 — and his immediate fear she had been kidnapped by a pedophile.
He said: “Kate came running back from the apartment screaming. I was in shock and Kate was screaming, Madeleine is missing, she’s gone’. I was like, ‘She can’t be gone ‘. I was looking every- where. It was disbelief, shock, horror, then panic and terror because I could only think of one scenario.
“I couldn’t get the darkest thoughts out of our minds that somebody had taken her and abused her.” Telling of the initial sense of guilt, Gerry spoke of how they had counselling after doing an appeal.
He said: “You can imagine the feelings we had and how and this had been misconstrued many times but Kate said, I’ve let her down, I wasn’t There”’.
“And that feeling of guilt we both had and that we had somehow let this happen or had given someone the opportunity, but at that time it was guilt that we were partly responsible.
“And after listening to us [the counselor] said, ‘You sound like model parents’. I suppose at the time that was some- thing we probably needed to hear”.
Gerry said time has now helped them adapt while they continue the search. He said: “Now we’re 11 years down the line but since particularly the Met started investigating we’ve had a new normality that our day-to day life is a family of four and not a family of five.
“And although Madeleine will always be part of it, you adapt”.
Gerry also said the relationship he shared with Madeleine was ‘incredibly special’ and dubbed the bond between himself, Kate and Madeleine ‘an equilateral triangle’