Woman on paper route finds man with symptoms of onset dementia sitting in car on roadway

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An 80-year-old Lafayette man with symptoms of onset dementia and perhaps who struggles with hearing loss was reunited with his family Tuesday after he got lost while driving to visit his wife in a nursing home. 

Roy Hauuger, was located just after 6 a.m. Tuesday, sitting alone in his vehicle on Sugar Mill Road in Iberia Parish, more than 20 miles away from his home in Lafayette.

Courtney Marks says she was on her morning paper route when she noticed Hauuger in his vehicle, in the middle of the roadway, and says she passed him up and then backed up because “something just didn’t feel right.”

Marks said Hauuger then got of his car and waved her down.   

“I let my window down and he was talking very loudly, he sounded scared and told me he had run out of gas and had left home Monday night to visit his wife in the nursing home and got lost.” 

Marks says she immediately felt compassion for Hauuger and got out of her car to assist.  

“I felt sad for him, I could tell he was being honest and I also could see that he was tired, hungry and sleepy because he kept repeating that his wife was in the nursing home and that he needed to go and see her.”

Marks says she dialed 911 who dispatched police and EMT to check him out.  

Then she says she asked if she could take a picture and post it on her social media page asking for help from anyone who may have any information on his family members. 

” He understood when I said Facebook and started smiling and telling me that he had a daughter,” Marks recalls with a chuckle. 

The post, which was shared over 7,000 times, caught the attention of Shontrona Batiste of Lafayette, an employee at the nursing home where Hauuger’s wife was a resident. 

” I saw the post and recognized the man, then I got permission from my supervisor to contact the family to make them aware of what had just happened.” Batiste said.

She credits her faith in God and a willingness to do the right thing that stopped her in her tracks to help reunite the family.  

” I never check social media in the mornings when I get off work,” Batiste said, ” but today I felt like I needed too, like God wanted me to see something.” 

Hauuger made it back to Lafayette mid morning Tuesday and into the arms of his wife and daughter. 

“On the way we stopped at McDonalds and ordered a big breakfast, and he ate most of it and then fell asleep.” Marks said.

“This brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it, but as I was driving one time he woke up and looked at me and said thank you my angel, God sent you to me, you are my guardian angel.”

Marks says he then went back to sleep. 

” I was put on this earth to do good things, and to help people and to treat people the way that I would want to be treated.” Marks said. 

“Today was a good day.” 

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