Friday, December 11, 2009

James Delorey: Tragic Story of an Autistic Boy


James Delorey of South Bar in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada
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In recent past, we were moved by the story of 6-year-old Elena Desserich, who, before her death by cancer, left loving messages and drawings on papers hidden in nooks and corners of her house in the USA. Now another story deeply moved us again.

This is the story of 7-year-old James Delorey, an autistic boy of South Bar in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. It is the story of this boy, his dog, a frantic community search for him in the woods during snow storm, a surprising feat of his survival, but also a sad end of him from hypothermia.

James Delorey was last seen with his dog outside his home on Saturday, December 5. He must have followed his dog in the nearby forest. When he was not being found anywhere, the police were searching for him in the neighborhood, affected by wet snow storm and low visibility. A big hurdle the searchers faced was that, the boy, being autistic, did not speak or respond to calls. He was also not properly dressed for cold weather with temperature going minus four degrees at night. Neighbours also joined the search but were unsuccessful.

Next day was Sunday. The storm was still razing. Several teams of rescuers were busy searching the boy in nearby thick and marshy woods. Military helicopter also participated in the search.

Around 10:00 in the morning of Monday, December 7, James' dog Chance returned home from the wooded area. Following the dog's footprints, one of the rescue teams at around 12:15 p.m. found James Delorey crouched under a thick brush 1.5 kilometres away from his home. He was suffering from severe hypothermia. He was flown to a hospital. The news of his rescue brought a great relief to all. Those, who were following this story with apprehension all over Canada and other countries, were expecting the best for him.

Paul Maynard, a spokesman for Nova Scotia's Emergency Health Services, said: "He did have very weak vital signs. That's why we transported him and are trying to warm him up and get those vital signs back to normal range. Our fingers are crossed. Hopefully a miracle will happen and he will pull through."

Dashing all hopes and frantic efforts of the physicians, James Delorey died in a Halifax children hospital in the night of December 7.

"The family would like to thank everyone involved in James' care," wrote his mother Veronica in a statement following his death. "It was amazing to see how everyone would come together. It really kept my hopes alive. We will have more to say later after we've had some time," reports the National Post.

James Delorey died quietly, but he left a loud mark in the hearts of many.

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