Elderly area man who survived night in the cold released from hospital
An 88-year-old Freestone County man with dementia who was found following an intensive search nearly 24 hours after he walked away from his home has been released from CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler, Freestone County Sheriff Jeremy Shipley said Friday evening.
Dale Bryan McCeig was flown to the hospital Tuesday afternoon after his granddaughter, Melissa Crenshaw, and her friend, Trisha Wren, found him in a creek bed.
Despite a night in the open in subfreezing temperatures with life-threatening wind chill readings, McCeig suffered only mild hypothermia, paramedics told local officials.
“God had his hand on him and we thank everyone,” McCeig’s son, Larry McCeig, said Thursday.
The elder McCeig has wounds on his knees, but did not suffer frostbite despite the sub-freezing temperatures, his son said.
McCeig was the focus of a search that stretched late into the night Monday and resumed at dawn Tuesday.
He was last seen on foot late Monday afternoon in the area of his home in the Oak Forest subdivision on FM 27 near Cooper Farms and the Love’s Travel Stop.
He disappeared as a cold front pushed in, dropping temperatures into the 20s overnight.
Wind chill readings were still in the 20s Tuesday morning in the area.
About 250 first responders and volunteers gathered Tuesday morning at the Green Barn at the Fairfield Fairgrounds and headed out again to search for him.
Hours later his granddaughter and her friend found him.
Wearing a heavy coat, jeans and slip-on tennis shoes, he evidently spent the night in the open in sub-freezing temperatures.
“God is not finished with Dale McCeig yet,” said close friend Barry Capps, who was also among the searchers.
“The amount of help that has come out just shows where we are from in this country, people care about each other.”