Children with special needs are more challenging to take care of than normal children. Although equal in value as a human being, it’s still a fact that more effort and more precautions are needed precisely because of their specific condition.
These special conditions may vary and this will also determine the level of care that is needed and whether or not they can be left on their own. The following incident clearly illustrates that and fortunately, it has a happy ending.
From the outside, Kathryn Ogle looks like any other teenage girl. At 5’4” and blonde hair and green eyes, there is nothing about her that will really stand out. However, Kathryn suffers from cognitive impairment and this means her maturity level is about half of her 19 years of age.
But then the worst case imaginable happened: Kathryn suddenly disappeared on November 1.
The teen had left their house only wearing a sweatshirt and pants and didn’t even have any shoes on.Given her special conditions, authorities knew they had to move quickly to find her before anything worse happened. With a sparse population and winter rolling in, the weather could just as easily do the teen in.
A search party composed of 40 trained individuals was quickly formed by the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office. A team of K9 units was also called in to help with the search.
Announcing the search on its Facebook page, the Sheriff’s Office wrote: “The Sheriff’s Office is respectfully asking that citizens please avoid the area unless you are an official Search and Rescue (SAR) member or live in the immediate area.
“KCSO appreciates all of your support, but citizens who are not members of (SAR) can often complicate organized search efforts that are already underway.”
But in an instance that was as significant for its irony as it was for its fortuitous nature, it was a father-and-son team out on a hunting trip that managed to find the missing Kathyrn.
According to KTVB, Ryle Gordon was out hunting with his stepfather on November 3 when they came upon a strange sight on a dirt trail.
When they got closer, they saw that someone had scrawled the word “Help” on the ground.
“You could see that somebody wrote ‘Help’ in the road with a stick and mud,” Gordon said. “Me and my dad kind of panicked.”
Immediately rushing over to the nearest command post, they told authorities what happened. An ambulance was then sent to the area.
“The ambulance followed us up there,” Gordon explained.
“They heard somebody saying something, so we all got really quiet, and then one of them yelled, ‘Hello.’ She said, ‘Help.’”
Kathyrn was found leaning against a tree. She was confused and frightened but had enough sense to light a small fire for warmth. Apart from that, she was unharmed and is expected to make a full recovery.