ATLANTA – After a week of searching, making calls and fearing the worst, a family has finally found their missing relative following a car crash. But, they couldn’t believe where he was found.
The Allen family, of Covington, Ga., said that they received a phone call Wednesday from Atlanta Medical Center (AMC), after its chaplain saw their story on 11Alive.
Michael Allen Sr., was alive and in the hospital, getting prepared for surgery.
When his family was finally reunited with him that night, he was heavily sedated in the intensive care unit.
“He has a breathing tube and feeding tube. He has to have surgery on his nose in the morning, plus several other broken bones,” Dennise Collum, Michael’s son, Robbie’s girlfriend, said.
Their panic quickly shifted to frustration.
“I mean, we specifically asked for a ‘John Doe.’ They had no record. He was there and still is there for seven days,” she said Wednesday after getting word that he was located at AMC.
According to the hospital, he had been there since his car crash as “John Doe.”
Regardless, she said, “I'm still grateful to find him.”
Michael, 65, was a passenger in a car crash Thursday, July 6 in Newton County, Ga., on Hwy. 212.
That’s when he went “missing.”
Just before 7 a.m., according to the Georgia State Patrol report, 33-year-old Christopher Phillips, Covington, Ga., “drove too fast for conditions,” when he ran the Jeep Grand Cherokee off the road, striking several mailboxes and then a tree.
After colliding with the tree, the SUV rotated and rolled over, but eventually landed top-side up.
Driving under a suspended license, Phillips fled the scene on foot before police arrived, leaving Michael behind.
Michael’s older brother, George Allen, said Michael was conscience and coherent enough to call him from the scene of the crash, telling him that he thought he had broken his leg and that an ambulance was about to take him to AMC.
He also asked George to come to the scene—about 11 miles from their home—to take his dog home with him.
According to the GSP incident report, Michael was taken by a Newton County EMS ambulance, to Atlanta Medical Center in Atlanta, with “non-fatal injuries.”
Once Michael arrived at the hospital, the family was told that he decided to leave, and somehow walked out, despite a leg injury. That’s when they started to worry that he might also have had a head injury.
Michael has been known, by his family, to become confused from time to time, and wander off on his own looking for his wife, who died five years earlier.
They feared the worst.
“I love my daddy more than anything else,” Robbie said on Monday, while still frantically searching for his missing father.
And even during moments of confusion, he always calls home to say he's OK, he said.
“He has a big thing about, you know—you tell the ones you love you love 'em before the end of the day, because you're not promised the next,” his son, Robbie, said.
Except this time.
Michael’s niece, Teresa Fowler reported him missing to the Atlanta Police Department on Friday, July 7—one day after the car wreck—relaying the information that she was given, which was that the AMC told her he left the hospital Friday at 9:30 a.m., refusing medical treatment.
He did not have any identification with him when he arrived at the hospital.
“We are very worried. We cannot get any help. We need to find him,” Collum said Monday night.
She said they called AMC numerous times asking if he was at the hospital—asking if there were any John Does and was repeatedly told that there were no John Does and no one by Michael’s name was checked in.
But according to AMC, the same time Collum and the rest of the family was desperately searching for Michael, their staff was trying to identify a John Doe whom they were treating.
It was Michael.
The hospital’s chaplain recognized the patient after identifying him through Newton County EMS records, and AMC tracked down the family.
“Upon arrival, the patient did not have identification and was unable to provide his name,” AMC’s spokeswoman, Nicole Gustin, said about when Michael arrived by ambulance last week.
“After working vigorously with our team, we were able to locate a relative and get a positive identification a few days later,” she said.
The GSP is currently seeking the driver from the crash. They are investigating and charges against him are pending, GSP spokeswoman, Tracey Watson, said.
Michael had surgery on his nose Thursday and is still recovering in the ICU.
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