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Midhurst man saved from muddy peril by tracking device
9:17am Tuesday 28th January 2014 in News
A tracking device worn by a Midhurst man with Alzheimer’s has saved his life.
John Dunn went missing during a walk with his wife Rosemary, sparking fears for his welfare.
But Mrs Dunn used the device, called Mindme, to track him down within an hour.
She said: “If John hadn’t been wearing the device around his neck, it would have been very difficult to locate him.
“I panicked as soon as I realised John was missing. It was surprising how far he got in such a short space of time.”
The couple, from Midhurst, were on holiday in Dorset when Mr Dunn disappeared on Christmas Day.
When Mrs Dunn, 62, called Careline for help, the team were able to give the co-ordinates of her husband’s location to a South Western Ambulance volunteer responder and the Lulworth Coastguard Rescue Team.
He was then discovered stuck in mud down a farm track and needed treatment for hypothermia.
Mr Dunn, who was diagnosed with dementia six months ago, was found in a distressed state and had cut himself trying to get over a barbed wire fence.
He was airlifted to hospital, where he was treated for his injuries and the early signs of hypothermia.
The Mindme device is run by Chichester District Council’s Careline system and uses satellite tracking to locate lost people.
The Chichester centre acts as the only control room in the UK. It responds to around 500 calls each day and can find people anywhere in Europe.
Mrs Dunn added: “I cannot explain how much of a relief it is to know that when you have lost someone that there is a way of finding them again. If it hadn’t been for the people helping us, I dread to think what would have happened.
“The device gives John his freedom and provides me with the reassurance that I can find him if he wanders. It is absolutely invaluable and I wouldn't be without it.”
Mindme can be attached to house keys, hang around the neck, or be kept in a pocket.
Eileen Lintill, council cabinet member for wellbeing and community services, said: “We are delighted that our Mindme device helped to locate John and that he is now fully recovered.
“The device helps to give freedom to those with dementia, and reassurance to their families – 24 hours a day, every day of the year.”
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