A Victoria man travelling alone in Spain hasn’t been heard from in more than two weeks after he was left behind at a bus rest stop without his phone, passport or, likely, kidney-transplant medication.
Scott Graham, 67, had plans to hop from city to city in Spain throughout the latter weeks of July, having just finished visiting friends in Amsterdam. While on a bus ride from Vigo to San Sebastian, Spain on July 10, though, Graham was left at a rest stop without his bags.
Two days later he managed to send a WhatsApp message to his brother briefly explaining what had happened, but since then Graham’s family hasn’t heard from him. They have no idea where he is or what kind of medical state he may be in.
“I can’t really think about outcomes. My brain won’t let me go there,” one of Graham’s three children Kaiza Graham told Victoria News, speaking from her home in Toronto.
The family has been doing its best to chase down any information about Graham.
They know he visited a hospital in Madrid on the morning of July 15 and the Canadian embassy in Madrid later that day. They also know, from having spoken to the embassy themselves, that Graham had made an appointment to return to the embassy the following Monday (July 18), but that he never showed up.
Kaiza said the embassy told them Graham couldn’t remember anyone’s phone numbers or the passwords for his email or Facebook, so he had no way of getting in touch with family. He also apparently told the embassy he had tried to get his kidney-transplant medication from the hospital, but that he hadn’t been able to.
How long he can last without it isn’t clear, Kaiza said, noting that her father’s transplant is the result of a genetic disease known as polycystic kidney disease.
“His immune system could be waking up and noticing the foreign object (the kidney). That could happen quite quickly.”
Graham also has a history of minor strokes and could be experiencing cognitive impairment.
On July 16, his family reported him missing to the Victoria Police Department, authorities in Spain and Global Affairs Canada.
Kaiza and her sister Georgia Graham say the lack of action since then has been infuriating.
“It’s been so outrageous how hard it’s been to get people with so much power to take even the smallest actions,” Kaiza said. “I feel like I’m screaming into the void.”
Her understanding when they reported her father’s case to VicPD was that he was being treated as a missing person. In fact, Kaiza said, because Graham didn’t go missing in Victoria, police only conducted a check-in, trying to ping Graham’s phone and stopping by his apartment.
It wasn’t until 10 days later when Kaiza asked the department to connect directly with police in Spain that she found out how little action had been taken. Since then, Kaiza said VicPD has been more helpful and is working with other agencies to monitor Graham’s bank accounts and passport for activity, of which there has been none so far.
He also hasn’t checked into any other hospitals, according to authorities in Spain, and never boarded his flight home from Amsterdam on Friday (July 29).
Kaiza and the rest of Graham’s family are now trying to spread the word about his disappearance and increase pressure for authorities to take action. They’re also hoping to connect with lawyers who have experience with Spanish law or missing persons cases, and anyone in Spain who may be able to help.
“It feels very hopeless and every avenue feels very futile. It’s hard to maintain motivation but we have to,” Kaiza said.
Victoria News has reached out to the Victoria Police Department and Global Affairs Canada for comment and further details.
Anyone wishing to contact Graham’s family can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.