She was understandably terrified. Her husband has Alzheimer’s. Even though the doorknobs had been removed from inside her Corinth home, Henry somehow managed to get out late in the day on the Fourth of July.
“I was usually pretty relaxed with him here because I knew he couldn’t get anywhere and he’s got a bed alarm on his bed,” explained Barbara.
“In a situation where he wasn’t going to be able to get back up on his own, he needed assistance getting out of the woods,” explained Deputy Andy Gravelle with the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department.
Gravelle knows the family well. After deputies were called two years ago to find Henry, he made sure Henry was now fitted with an electronic tracking device just in case it happened again.
“If I pick up on that, I park the car and use the equipment handheld from there. So as I got to the front of the driveway, which was a very long driveway, I did pick up the signal and was able to use the equipment and pinpoint exactly where he was within 20 feet,” noted Gravelle.
“I was very thankful for that,” acknowledged Barbara. She realizes that if her husband wasn’t a “Project Lifesaver” client, things could have ended much differently.
“He doesn’t know who I am most of the time. If I’ll say, ‘I’m your wife,’ he laughs. He thinks that’s a joke, ’cause he’s envisioning me, I think, the way I looked when I got married and that ain’t happening,” admitted Barbara.
Henry was still recovering in Saratoga Hospital on Thursday. Unfortunately, he won’t be coming home this time. The family is now waiting for an opening in a secure, locked facility so this doesn’t happen again.
Barbara urges anyone in a family with a dementia patient, Alzheimer’s patient, or anyone with kids who have autism to please look into “Project Lifesaver.” In this case, it was truly a lifesaver.