Day after day, night after night, Francisco Hernandez Jr. rode the subway. He had a MetroCard, $10 in his pocket and a book bag on his lap. As the human tide flowed and ebbed around him, he sat impassively, a gangly 13-year-old boy in glasses and a red hoodie, speaking to no one.
After getting in trouble in class in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, and fearing another scolding at home, he had sought refuge in the subway system. He removed the battery from his cellphone. “I didn’t want anyone to scream at me,” he said.
All told, Francisco disappeared for 11 days last month — a stretch he spent entirely in subway stations and on trains, he says, hurtling through four boroughs. And somehow he went undetected, despite a round-the-clock search by his panicked parents, relatives and family friends, the police and the Mexican Consulate.
Via Runaway Spent 11 Days in the Subways
Last night, after hours spent frantically searching, Nillo Raesalmi was reunited with his wife, Alina, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease.
“I wasn’t lost I don’t know what happened. I’m glad very happy very glad very happy,” said Alina and Nillo Raesalmi.
It was a happy ending to a story that can end in tears as it did after an Alzheimer’s patient died earlier this month after being struck by a vehicle.
Seniors suffering from Alzheimer’s can end up wandering lost, alone, and confused… and ultimately fall victim to a world moving too swiftly to notice them.
“A minute may mean death in some cases. We need to try and find these people as soon as we can,” said Laura Panizza, the director of adult day-care for the Mae Volen Senior Center.
In partnership with the Delray Beach Police, her organization is starting something new to help keep seniors, suffering the ravages of Alzheimer’s, safe.
“We’re building a databank of photographs and information,” said John Evans, a sergeant with the Delray Beach Police.
Via Alzheimer ID Program Going Online