Story By: Jonathan Macias, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
Video Credit: CEN/@HughElliottUK
The quest of the British Ambassador to Spain to look for a woman who hosted him after he ended up penniless in the country 35 years ago has come to a sad end after he discovered she died of multiple sclerosis.
The British Ambassador to Spain, Hugh Elliott, revealed in a Twitter video how he was helped by a woman in 1984 when he was travelling by bike to the city of Santiago de Compostela in the autonomous community of Galicia in north-western Spain when he was 19 years old.
According to Elliot, he lost his bike when he took a train to travel to the city of Burgos in the community of Castile and Leon in northern Spain which was part of the route.
The Spanish Ambassador said he was helped by Lourdes Arnaiz who hosted him for five days as he had little money and the campsite where he had planned to stay was very far to go on foot.
Arnaiz was 20 at the time and she was introduced to Elliot by her Canadian boyfriend who found the penniless future ambassador in a coffee shop.
Elliot said in a Twitter video: “I spent five days at her house, eating with the family, and they did not let me pay a penny.”
He also added: “I wonder in how many countries a foreigner is hosted like that? My affection for this country and its people started here in Burgos in this place 35 years ago”
The clip was shared by Elliot on 3rd December during a trip to the northern city where he hoped to find Arnaiz again with the help of netizens to thank her for her generosity.
This Saturday the British representative said he had managed to find Arnaiz’s brother Alfonso, 63, who told him Lourdes died at the age of 35 because of multiple sclerosis.
Alfonso was 29 at the time Mr Elliot arrived in Burgos.
Elliott said on Twitter: “I am very sorry to say that Lourdes died because of multiple sclerosis. I expected a different outcome but it was not possible.”
Elliot has also asked for the collaboration of people to support organisations fighting against the disorder by either making donations or volunteering.
Reports state multiple sclerosis (MS) affects 47,000 people in Spain while the cause of MS is still unknown with environmental and genetic factors believed to be key factors that may contribute to the development of the disease, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
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