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Winter Storm Miracle: Barren County woman with dementia wanders away, finds shelter by chance

Published: Feb. 16, 2021 at 8:20 PM EST
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BARREN COUNTY, Ky. (WBKO) - As more winter weather was predicted to move into the area Monday evening, Lacey Stinson and her fiancé decided to move their truck along the street at the end of their driveway in case of an emergency.

“I tried to tell my fiancé last night that there’s no need to park it up there because we wouldn’t go anywhere, but he was like, ‘well, what if we need to get out?’ So, we actually did park it across the street because our driveway’s real slanted,” Stinson said.

As Stinson’s fiancé, Travis Nichols, moved the truck closer to the road, he happened to leave the doors unlocked before going back inside. Little did he know that his actions would save someone’s life.

Heading into the night, a woman, who officials think was around 90 years old and diagnosed with dementia, had wandered away from her home. She walked about a quarter of a mile with no shoes on until she found the truck left at the end of the driveway.

“It’s just so crazy,” Stinson said. “Because I kept telling him last night, you know, there’s no need to park it up there (the truck), we were not going to need anything we’ve prepared for it.”

Because the truck was left unlocked, the woman was able to get inside and cover up with a blanket left in one of the seats. Officials estimate she was in the truck for more than ten hours.

“That’s a long time for anybody, let alone somebody 90 years of age. Plus, it was in the single digits last night,” Stinson said.

Tuesday morning, Stinson’s fiancé looked out the window and saw first responders attempting to get in the truck. She said a deputy happened to be passing by and noticed the windows looked a bit foggy, so he looked inside and found the woman.

“We’re thankful she’s alive because honestly had the truck not been unlocked, she probably wouldn’t have made it. He (Travis Nichols) was outside for like 10 minutes talking to the sheriff and came back in and the tip of his fingers was, you know, red and frozen,” Stinson said.

Stinson said the woman was awake and talking to the first responders as they then transported her to T.J. Samson hospital. Her condition is not known at this time.

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