FROM the moment he set eyes on her, Gerry McCann was mesmerised by Kate
Healy's infectious smile and sense of humour. The attraction was obvious
but any chance of a romance looked doomed from the start due to the
ambitious Kate's work commitments.
met as young doctors working in different departments at Glasgow's
Western Infirmary in the early Nineties and there was an instant
chemistry between them, friends remember.
1996 Kate moved to New Zealand to work and Gerry dropped the chance of a
dream job in the US to follow her there. Kate was never in doubt about
Gerry's intentions after he travelled the world to be with her and by
the time they returned to settle in Glasgow in 1998 they were already
planning to marry. Their wedding took place that December at Our Lady of
the Annunciation in Catholic Kate's home city of Liverpool.
Kate and Gerry were ambitious with Glaswegian Gerry qualifying in
cardiology (he is now a consultant) while Kate concentrated on
anaesthetics and gynaecology. In 2000 they moved to Queniborough in
Leicestershire when Gerry got a job at the Glenfield Hospital in
Leicester, while Kate worked as a GP in Melton Mowbray.
Although driven by their careers the most important thing in their lives
was becoming parents but, even though the rest of their lives were going
well, their dream of a baby didn't seem to be coming true.
Kate, who suffers from inherited endometriosis (a uterine condition),
recalled: 'I wanted to be a mother. When we were trying for a baby and
it wasn't happening, it was really hard. The longer it went on the
harder it was.
saw my friends having children and I was delighted for them but it made
me sad too. We tried unsuccessfully for several years to conceive. There
came a point when we admitted we needed help. I was so desperate to have
a child I'd try anything. I know IVF isn't everyone's choice but I
wanted to try it.'
was devastated when initial treatment at a private fertility clinic
failed but the couple remained united, strong and determined. When she
finally fell pregnant with Madeleine in 2002 aged 35 she said:
didn't seem true. It was just fantastic. It was incredibly special
because we had been waiting for a long time. I did a test at home so I
could handle the result if it wasn't good.
was looking at it thinking: 'I don't believe that!' Then I went to the
hospital and they checked it. I was really excited. It was a really
uncomplicated pregnancy. I had no sickness, nothing.'
Madeleine was born on May 12, 2003, at a Leicester hospital.
Recalling her miracle baby's birth Kate said: 'There she was, perfect.
She was lovely. She had the most beautiful face. I thought I was going
to have a boy, just based on instinct. That actually made it even more
special that she was a girl. She took us by surprise.'
and Gerry wanted a bigger family and after further IVF treatment in the
Netherlands, where they were living after Gerry got a job there, Kate
fell pregnant with twins in 2004.
couple moved back to Britain and Sean and Amelie were born on February
1, 2005. Finally Kate and Gerry's life was complete. Madeleine was
awestruck by her little brother and sister.
was amazing,' said Kate. 'She was only 20 months old, still a baby
herself, but she handled it all so well. Madeleine came in to see them
for the first time and, oh, her little face!
was lovely. She's got bags of character, that's for sure. She's very
loving, caring, very funny, very chatty, very engaging, but she has her
moments like all children do. I do think she's very special.'
May 2006, the McCanns moved to their ideal home; a '600,000 detached
house in Rothley, Leicestershire, where they became part of village
Madeleine attended the Laurels Nursery; rugby-loving Gerry would visit
the Woodmans Stroke pub to watch matches and he and Kate would go
running regularly, or play sport with the children.
important part of their lives was attending their church, the Sacred
Heart, just a five-minute stroll from their home, for Sunday morning
mass with the children. Kate often went to a Tuesday morning service
Their strong faith was to play a vital role in the events which