This Durban mother has spoken of the heartbreak and devastation her family has gone through after her daughter Michelle, 19, descended into a hell of drugs and disease.
Durban – Bluff mother Chantal Horrocks has spoken of the heartbreak and devastation her family has gone through after her daughter Michelle, 19, descended into a hell of drugs and disease.
At the beginning of the week, Michelle ran away from a government hospital and her mother posted a plea to help find her on social media.
Over the past couple of years, Queensburgh, Bluff and Umbilo residents have seen Michelle half-naked and dirty on the streets with most taking a wide berth to avoid the drug-addled teen. This was a far cry from the bright girl who finished primary school with an 89% average, wanted to become a marine biologist and won medals and trophies for swimming, hockey, dancing and singing.
“She was the child every parent would dream of having. Then, when she was about 14 or 15, she started hanging with the wrong crowd. I think when she was about 16 the drugs started. She became rebellious and left home, moving in with a 37-year-old man. It got really bad then. She told me later that he locked her inside the house, naked and without any food,” said Horrocks, adding that Michelle told her the man started selling her to friends for sex.
A concerned Bluff resident
Annalize took Michelle into her
home for a while, saying: “She would go to her mother’s house full of blood and bruises.”
She said they believed Michelle had been raped numerous times.
Horrocks said she had rescued
her daughter a number of times, including from a brothel in the Davenport area, and from a hair salon where “Michelle was half naked with about eight men”.
She said Michelle had been treated in hospitals around Durban for drug addiction, with many social workers trying to help her daughter.
“People are so cruel on social media, telling me I’m not a proper mother.
“They don’t know how many hours I have spent in so many hospitals and have filled in so many forms.
“She was always either released from hospital with medication or escaped from hospital. Once, eight security guards had to hold her down.
“She has also tried to stab herself and has attacked me and her younger brother with a knife.
Michelle Horrocks, middle, before drugs took her down a path of destruction, seen with her sister, Kayleigh, back, and her mother Chantal.
“I can tell you, she will walk anywhere, I don’t know how much of this I can endure,” said a visibly distressed Horrocks.
In December, Michelle was diagnosed with HIV and tuberculosis meningitis which affected her brain.
On Thursday morning, a suicide note, allegedly from Michelle, was left on Annelize’s front lawn. Horrocks said Annalize contacted her immediately about the note.
“That note did not make sense to me. The paper was too clean and white and the note was written in straight lines.
“Since her diagnosis in December, Michelle has got worse, she’s always dirty and walking around the streets half naked.
“Where would she have even got a pencil and piece of paper?”
On Thursday night, Horrocks received news that her daughter had been found by police and returned to a hospital on Tuesday evening, but had been taken to a different ward and no-one had notified the family
“If Michelle had been diagnosed properly from the beginning we wouldn’t be where we are now.
“I kept telling them it wasn’t only a drug problem but something was wrong with her brain.
“Michelle needs to receive proper care and proper medication and be looked after 24/7,” said Horrocks.
Independent On Saturday