I don't know if I can do justice in this Blog to what Amber goes through everyday. For those who are new to Peace4 the Missing. Our daughter, Amber Gerweck, went missing April 9, 2011. She lived in Jackson, Michigan at the time. Without going into everything, her car was found in Tunnell Hill, GA, where it was abandoned on April 10. For 3 1/2 agonizing weeks, nothing about Amber's disappearance made any sense. We just had no real leads. Her four children were afraid. We were afraid. We didn't sleep, we cried a lot, and barely functioned from day to day. Then wonder of wonders, she was found in Joliet, IL on May 2. We found out she was there the evening of May 4. We left that night and arrived at the hospital on Thursday evening, May 5. We had been informed that Amber had amnesia and we were somewhat prepared that she might not know us. But it was still very hard when we went into her room and she cringed into her nurse's shoulder and said in tears "I'm sorry, I don't recognize you"  She looked like a scared little child clutching a stuffed little dog that was given her in the ER. Turns out she was. She had lost all memory of who she was, where she was from, and more. We worked with her everyday in the hospital and by the time we were able to leave, her memories had mostly returned up to age 10 and some beyond that to age 12. Spring forward to the present. Amber still doesn't remember being married or having children. She has "met" her children and has had some memories of her children but is still not fully into adult memories. She kept saying she knows she is an adult but she feels like she is 14. Last night she drove her car for the first time, just on a little straight bit of road but she felt so proud and announced "ok I'm officially 15". Yet even though she feels like a teenager, she reacts and takes care of business very much as an adult. We are so proud of how well she is doing. There is still no memory of that 3 1/2 weeks or of what caused her to leave Michigan or caused the amnesia. She remembers April 9 up to a point and then it all goes blank. She describes it as a black hole, and her next memory is of being in the hospital.

We have just finished interviewing and taping with the NBC Universal show ID: Disappeared. It was difficult as each of us told a little  bit of the story. Unfortunately, her brother lives too far away and won't be able to add his insight. It was both painful and somewhat cathartic reliving the events.

We still don't know what happened to Amber. She has a fear of strangers, is very anxious in public places, but she is a strong young woman who faces her fears as much as possible. I would hope all would continue to pray for Amber's recovery. It is slow, yet we see progress everyday. It's rather hard to regain 22 years of memories quickly.

I know that there are a lot of people who have family members missing right now. Amber's message is to not give up hope. Even when it looks like all leads have stopped.

My message is repost when information regarding anyone missing comes your way. Post on all social media outlets. It was through a posting on Facebook that we were able to identify Amber and bring her home with us. We don't know the future, We can't see the whole picture, only God can. I continue to pray for all family-ies who have missing loved ones as well as for all law enforcement as they work to find the missing and prosecute the guilty.

 

Thank you

Jackie

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Comment by Jackie Seger on July 21, 2011 at 8:50am

Christina. We do talk a lot about things we did together as a family. We also reconfirm for her that she is a beautiful young lady and she is safe now. She has always journaled and has read many of her journals. She goes through boxes with pictures of her life before and things that her children made through the years and as she does more memories come. She does have to pace herself. When she is overwhelmed with too many memories at once or if she is in an anxious situation, she gets migraines. She used to get migraines sometimes anyway. But it's much more tied into her stress levels.

Thank you all for your comments. Besides dealing with her trying to remember, she also has to deal with bill collectors, banks, insurances, doctors, etc. who want to know histories. Insurance has been a real bear because they didn't want to pay her short term disability until they knew what doctors were taking care of her during the 3 1/2 weeks right after her last day of work. Expaining that there were no doctors, she was missing, she has amnesia... most places don't have a standard proceedure for those situations. To get them to ok her disability, we had to send a police report after much explanation and being put off for a month. She had to sign papers letting us different agencies talk to us because it was more than she could handle (remember she was only 12 or so in her mind at that time). There is just so much that no one thinks about.

 

Thank you for all of your prayers. I will update more often now.

 

Comment by Christina Venita Quinton on July 20, 2011 at 5:31pm
I dont know if this would help or if you already do this but just in case do you remind her of stuff when you talk to her that may help? 
Comment by Sara Huizenga on July 20, 2011 at 4:56pm
Jackie, I also wanted you to know that I am from Michigan as well and my entire family was and is sending out many prayers for Amber and your entire family ... this is such a true message of hope ... so thankful to have your family a part of our greater Peace4 the Missing "family" - we are blessed.
Comment by Maureen Reintjes-Peace4 Admin on July 20, 2011 at 4:42pm

Jackie,

 

Thank you so much for the update.  I think of Amber and your whole family often and had been wondering how much progress had been made.  You are so blessed that Amber was found and that she is back in your lives.  With that said I know it must be incredibly frustrating for all as Amber works on her memory.

Glad to hear Amber's story will be on ID: Disappeared.  For personal reasons it is a very good thing that many will be educated on memory problems and amnesia in missing adults through your ordeal.

 

Keeping Amber and your whole family in my prayers.

 

Maureen

Comment by Doll Selby on July 20, 2011 at 4:41pm
God Bless!!!
Comment by Sara Huizenga on July 20, 2011 at 4:12pm
"I know that there are a lot of people who have family members missing right now. Amber's message is to not give up hope. Even when it looks like all leads have stopped.
My message is repost when information regarding anyone missing comes your way. Post on all social media outlets. It was through a posting on Facebook that we were able to identify Amber and bring her home with us. We don't know the future, We can't see the whole picture, only God can. I continue to pray for all family-ies who have missing loved ones as well as for all law enforcement as they work to find the missing and prosecute the guilty."

Beautiful, powerful truth ... thank you so much for sharing this with us ... xoxo

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