Emergency responders rescue Alzheimer's patient stuck in tree

The 85-year-old man wandered away from a care home and was found perched in a fallen tree across a creek


By Emily E. Smith
The Oregonian

PORTLAND, Ore. — A missing Alzheimer's patient was found stuck on a downed tree, which was suspended above water, Gresham police said Saturday.

His story has a happy ending. Officers say it unfolded this way:

A firefighter and police officer help the man off of the fallen tree he had climbed. (Image courtesy Gresham Police Department)
A firefighter and police officer help the man off of the fallen tree he had climbed. (Image courtesy Gresham Police Department)

The 85-year-old man wandered away from an Alzheimer's care home in Gresham on Friday morning.

Several cops joined the man's family and care-home staffers in looking for him.

Nearing an hour into the search, the man's son-in-law found him perched on a tree fallen across Johnson Creek. He was about a quarter-mile away from the home.

The man, who was without his cane, had navigated through the brush and made his way along the tree, which was suspended about 15 feet above the creek.

Officers reached him and found he'd suffered some minor injuries. One cop stayed with him while others determined how to get him out of treacherous spot.

Police and firefighters decided to walk him back across the tree. With a firefighter and police officer on either side of him, the man stepped to safety.

He couldn't walk all the way home, so his son-in-law, officers and firefighters carried him to a waiting ambulance, police said. He was in pain from his journey but safe.

Police said his family celebrated an emotional reunion with him.

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©2015 The Oregonian (Portland, Ore.)

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