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Wednesday, 21 August, 2002, 19:06 GMT 20:06 UK
Amnesia victim found in Greece
Jezebel Blythe
Jezebel Blythe spent a year sleeping rough
A British woman found by Greek authorities on the streets of Athens suffering complete memory loss has appealed for her family to come forward.

The woman, who has given herself the name Jezebel Blythe, has arrived back in the UK after spending over a year sleeping rough in a sea port near Athens.

Ms Blythe was found by a Greek social worker in February this year.

She is now being cared for by a charity in Kent after embassy officials gave her a temporary passport.


I am hoping that my family will see the photograph that is taken and will come forward

'Jezebel Blythe'

Ms Blythe says her memory only stretches back 18 months when she woke up and found her teeth damaged and a wound to her head.

She spent the next year sleeping rough in Piraeus - the port of Athens.

The social worker who found her contacted the British authorities and arranged for her to be cared for in a psychiatric hospital.

Speaking of her ordeal in Greece, Ms Blythe, who believes she is in her early 50s, said after she tried to find the British Embassy she "set down" in the Greek port.

Only English person

"I must have stayed there for about a year feeling absolutely hopeless," she said.

"I am hoping that my family will see the photograph that is taken and will come forward.

"I felt a lot worse in Greece than I do here because I felt completely stuck and the only English person I came across was myself," she said.

Ms Blythe is now in the care of a charity in a Kent town, which she does not want identified.

She gave herself the name Jezebel because, she said: "I wanted something that was fairly improbable, instead of something like Susan or Mary".

'Extremely lucid'

Donald Holder, a member of the British Embassy in Athens, said he was convinced Ms Blythe was British.

"I was so convinced that she was British that I was prepared to issue her with documentation to get into the UK.

"The woman is extremely lucid and it is just unfortunate that she has this total memory loss."

A spokesman for the Church of England, which helped organise Ms Blythe's transfer to the UK, said British social services would not take responsibility for her.

"The consulate approached the Foreign Office in London and they went to the social services and were told because she has no name and address they could not take responsibility for her."

A spokesman for the Department of Health said Ms Blythe should receive help now she is in the UK.

He explained that social services would be unable to support someone overseas.

"She should now be able to get an assessment about what support she needs through her local health service," he said.

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 ON THIS STORY
Jezebel Blythe, amnesia victim
"I'm hoping the photograph will bring forward my family"

Click here to go to Kent
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27 Apr 00 | A-B
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