Newcastle Schizophrenic son who disappeared for 10 months, reunited with family

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After her mentally ill son went missing in September 2021, mother, Switerena (Aneesa) Gopie has eventually found relief. 

On 19 October 2021, the Newcastillian – Online News reported how Aneesa’s son, Faheem Sherriff, went missing on 25 September 2021, after he had left his family’s home at 1.45 am. As the mother noted at the time, Faheem had been diagnosed with schizophrenia when he was 17 years old and was on chronic medication.

According to Aneesa, due to Faheem’s condition, he had been placed in Newcastle Provincial Hospital’s care. However, the medical facility had discharged him, which Aneesa said was done involuntarily. This is why he had been at home when he mysteriously vanished.

To read the full article, click here.

Now, 10 months later, Faheem was found in CarolinaMpumalanga, on Friday, 24 June 2022 by Newcastle Detectives investigating the case.

With no idea how he got to the Carolina, Aneesa said that while Faheem is totally healthy, he did seem under-nourished and is now recovering in Newcastle Provincial Hospital. “God only knows how he survived. Fortunately, street children had apparently seen him and thought he looked sick, so they started taking him food that they had got, so that he could eat,” said Aneesa.

As Faheem now gathers his strength in hospital, Aneesa explained that the past 10 months have been absolutely horrific. “The past few months have left me traumatised, both mentally and physically. It was a nightmare and the worst pain I have ever experienced in my entire life. It was difficult to remain positive at times,” she added.

While always thinking about the worst-case scenarios, Aneesa said she managed to keep her faith, praying that Faheem would be found and never accepting that he might die.

With her prayers now being answered, Aneesa said she was elated and extremely thankful to the Newcastle SAPS Detectives who never gave up on her son. “I would like to thank Sergeant Mchunu, Sergeant Mbonane and Constable Mazibuko, I am extremely thankful for their hard work and service.”

The now relieved mother further extended a heartfelt thanks to her family and friends who also supported her through this difficult time.

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