Nine years ago I got a phone call that no parent wants; my son had been arrested in Prague. I fell to the ground with an asthma attack and my daughter had to take the phone. After two days of calls back and forth, my son was granted bail to come home to England, but I was still numb and so confused – what were we supposed to do now?

The frustration and worry caused by the confusing legal process was endless. We were elated when we were told no further action would be taken, but that was short-lived. The charges were soon brought back and the process to extradite Daniel to face trial started. When he finally exhausted his legal options five years later, I felt my world had ended; I was afraid for him, and I didn’t know where to turn.

At his trial the devastation started all over again. He was sentenced to three years, but on appeal they got that raised to five years. I think I cried for days; just to add to the hurt they transferred him to a military style prison in the middle of nowhere, which made the prospect of visiting him even more daunting and difficult.

We contacted Prisoners Abroad and they helped us with advice, phone numbers, and medication for my son, as all medical treatment has to be paid for over there. As his mum I felt every emotion in the book, and my health suffered as a result of our ordeal. All I had was reports back from his girlfriend and sister, who visited as often as they could, and letters from him. I missed him so much, and went through some very dark days and nights; I envisaged this going on for some years to come.

Thankfully that nightmare did not come true. At the end of May I received a call from my son to say he was coming home. We are still so happy and now in the process of putting our lives back together, but I know that there are still other parents like me facing a long wait to see their son or daughter again.

Without all the help and advice we received from Prisoners Abroad I would have found it hard to cope. The family days were so helpful, as it makes you realise that it’s not just your family going through this. You realise that there are lots of us in the same boat and it really helps to talk about it with people who understand. If you are able to support their invaluable services, please do so today.

Read Daniel's story

Combating stigma helps reduce isolation.

Prisoners Abroad helps family members affected by a loved one’s imprisonment by providing one to one support as well as hosting family support groups around the country and arranging overseas visits.