Letter to the Editor: Project Lifesaver a much-needed program


The snow and freezing temperatures remind me of a fear I had while caring for my husband Richard, who suffered from the horrible disease Alzheimer’s. He could have wandered off any time of the year, but the fear of his wandering during the cold winter months, getting lost and freezing to death was a valid one. Our daughter, Amanda, told me about Shenandoah County Project Lifesaver.

Project Lifesaver helps people, like myself and my husband, who are suffering from Alzheimer’s. It also, helps those who are suffering with other disorders such as Down’s syndrome and autism.

One late winter afternoon, during an earlier stage of my husband’s Alzheimer’s and after finally convincing him to come with me, Richard and I arrived, unannounced, at the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office. After a brief explanation of why we were there, a deputy with Project Lifesaver talked with my husband and myself and placed a tracking bracelet on Richard. At that time and during the many years that Richard participated in Project Lifesaver, we were both treated with the utmost respect and kindness. Each well-trained deputy who guided Richard through Project Lifesaver over those years were far and beyond their call of duty.

Again, I give a special thanks to Deputy Keith Cowart, Deputy Rick Miller, Sgt. Mitchell Vernazza and others who were involved in Richard’s care. Thank you, Sheriff Timothy Carter, for keeping Project Lifesaver alive. I will always be indebted to each of you.

Project Lifesaver is run entirely on donations. It is a costly program but no one is turned away. If you should decide to donate to Project Lifesaver, I can personally assure you that you will be giving to a much-needed and appreciated program. You may help save a life.

To learn more about Project Lifesaver, call the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Department.

Marilyn M. Dellinger, Woodstock