THE terminally-ill mother of missing Newbridge man Kyle Vaughan is facing her second birthday without knowing what has happened to him.
And Mary Vaughan says she is so depressed she recently fell into a diabetic coma because she couldn't face taking care of herself.
It is now almost 15 months since 24-year-old Kyle went missing in December 2012, and his heartbroken mother will have her 52nd birthday on Sunday without her only child by her side.
The grief was etched onto her face as she talked to the Argus.
Devastatingly, after a year of hell during the on-going murder investigation into her son’s disappearance, Mrs Vaughan was diagnosed with liver cancer in December, just two years after battling throat cancer.
Now, she says doctors have told her she is so weak she won't survive even if she undergoes surgery as she has a cluster of growths on her liver.
“Even if I was strong enough, which I’m not, they have said it’s unlikely I would survive” she exclusively told the Argus yesterday. “Now because this has happened I’m scared I could die before I ever find out what happened to my son.
“I just want to know where he is so I can bury him and lay him to rest before I go.”
Mrs Vaughan is in a lot of pain but says she has good days and bad, which are often made worse by the crippling depression brought on by the disappearance of her son.
“It’s not getting any easier,” she said. “Actually, I would say it’s getting worse as with people still on bail it seems we know less now than we did at the beginning of this nightmare.”
Last month she was so depressed she says she stopped eating properly and was living off Lucozade and milk. A diabetic, her blood sugar levels went through the roof and she fell into a coma so deep doctors told her family she probably would not pull through.
She said: “I really believe the strain of it all – Kyle’s disappearance, the cancer, the depression – are making me worse. I would not be this ill if Kyle were here.
“Waking up from the coma made me realise I need to find Kyle now, as soon I may not have the chance. I just want my son back so I can finally lay him to rest.”
While Mrs Vaughan is on anti-depressants, she is to start seeing a psychologist next month to help her deal with the stress of it all.
She said she is less concerned with the police probe than just knowing here her son is: “I just want to know where my Kyle is.
“People out there who know what happened – can’t they put themselves in my shoes? Aren’t some of them mothers too? How would they feel if it was their son who was missing? Can they imagine what this feels like? No mum should ever to go through what I’ve been through. The pain is more than you could ever imagine. I just want to lay my son to rest and I want a release from the burden of not knowing.”
She said she gets upset when she sees shops setting out their Mother’s Day displays, as Kyle always spoilt her and bought her presents at this time of the year.
“He was so good, he never, ever forgot anything like that,” she said. “On my last birthday we spent together, my 50th, I woke up and he had decorated the hallway, all down the stairs and the outside of the house with balloons. Then the three of us went away for a couple of days and he bought me a bottle of champagne. He always made a fuss of me.”
Mrs Vaughan says she and husband Alan did not celebrate her birthday last year, and they won’t this year either.
“We don’t have much to celebrate. The thing we miss most about his is all the silly little everyday things. Now, the house is so quiet, it just doesn’t feel right. Even when he moved out he was always here.”
“Once he went away to Ireland with my mother for two weeks, and me and Alan missed him so much we couldn’t believe it. This now is a thousand times worse.”
Mrs Vaughan said she and her husband went through Kyle’s things last week, and found all of his old certificates, including a Grade 8 certificate for drumming.
“He was so musical,” she said. “That’s part of the reason the house was always so noisy. He loved the drums and taught himself to play the guitar and the organ. We miss the noise.”
Kyle went missing on December 30 last year when his silver Peugeot 306 was found on the A467 between Risca and Crosskeys after a suspected collision. Specialist search officers combed the area around Newbridge at the time using search dogs, but failed to find the former Cwmcarn High School pupil.
This led to a murder inquiry being launched less than two weeks after his disappearance.
Mrs Vaughan added: “It scares me to think I could die before I ever find my son. It’s beyond pain. It’s unimaginable.”
Anyone with any information about Kyle's disappearance is urged to call Gwent police on 101 or Crimestoppers completely anonymously on 0800 555 111.