Suicidal mum meets police officers who saved her

Abby Hughes with the officers who saved her life

Abby Hughes with the officers who saved her life - Credit: Archant

A mother-of-two who threatened to take her own life in December by jumping into the River Thames has been reunited with the officers who saved her.

The dog support unit and the marine policing unit began searching for Hackney resident Abby Hughes, 38, after she discharged herself from hospital.

Officers from Lambeth Borough found Abby on the Southbank after a member of the public alerted them to a very distressed woman outside the National Theatre.

Pcs Jamie Larner, Anthony Owen, Giuseppe Scannapieco and Jamie Chandler arrived at the scene and over 60 life-changing minutes they managed to convince Abby to climb back over the railings and give life another chance.

Working together they were discreet with their radio transmissions and held Abby in conversation.

Pc Scannapieco spoke with Abby, providing reassurance whilst moving her gradually away from the river, and eventually they were able to talk her out of taking her own life.

Abby wrote to them in April to express how the experience changed her life after suffering from severe mental illness for three years, and last week she met them all at Brixton Police Station.

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She said: “I was very nervous about meeting them all, I didn’t know what I was going to feel, or how I was going to react, all I knew was that it was important for me to meet them and personally say thank you.

“Three years ago I was diagnosed with a severe mental health illness and was trapped in a vicious cycle of self harm and suicide attempts.

“The day I nearly jumped into the River Thames was the day that changed my life.

“The kindness those officers displayed that night and their care towards me gave me some sense of self-worth and I have made great strides towards managing my recovery and since then have not had a single episode of self harm.”

Pc Scannapieco said: “We were already moved by the heartfelt letter she wrote to us about our actions that day but seeing her in person on the road to recovery had a huge impact on us, it’s the reason we do what we do.

“Whilst Abby has thanked us, it is herself she should give praise to, as she found the courage in herself that day to climb back over and begin a new stage in her life.”