Kindness of strangers brings lost Alzheimers patient home safely - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Kontji Anthony

Kindness of strangers brings lost Alzheimers patient home safely

HICKORY WITHE, Tenn. (WMC-TV) - Kind strangers took a lost Alzheimer's patient into their home on a very cold night.

In the early hours of Sunday morning, 77-year-old Patsy Briscoe wandered from her quarters behind her daughter's house. A sweatshirt was her only defense from  freezing temperatures.

"We got up to bring her breakfast, and when we got over, we noticed the back door was open and we couldn't find her," said David Evans, Briscoe's son-in-law.

The family called 911.

Neighbors and various area law enforcement agencies scoured the Hickory Withe area in hopes of finding Briscoe.

"We're talking about 20 degree temperatures. That was our main concern was her exposure to the cold," said Ray Garcia with the Fayette County Sheriff's Dept.

Little did they know the Rodriguez family had taken Briscoe in for several hours because she couldn't tell them where she lived.

"Six o'clock in the morning...she just came in and knocked on the door," said Arturo Rodriguez of Hickory Withe.
 
Rodriguez and his family live more than a mile from Briscoe's home. The elderly woman had wandered across two highways.

"We just drive over there. I see the police and all this. So I just go and ask him, and they say they look for her," Rodriguez said.

Neighbors said they were very pleased to hear Briscoe was brought home safely.

"Some kind souls had taken her in and warmed her up, so it was a great ending to a story that we had all prayed for," said neighbor Chris Lemoyne.

After a harrowing night, Briscoe is doing fine, and her family says they're thankful for the kindness of strangers.

"Thank God, that's right," said Evans. "It's a miracle."

Family members said a proposed Silver Alert for missing seniors - much like the Amber Alert for children - would have helped greatly in this situation. It sends an alert to all law enforcement and media when a senior is missing so the search can begin immediately.
    
The Tennessee House and Congress are considering the Silver Alert program, which has already been adopted by about a dozen states.


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