We can all remember back to our childhoods. While certain aspects are blurred around the edges, there are memories that we’ll never let go of.
Many of us can recall a moment that panicked us as kids – and it probably had something to do with getting lost.
Little children are heavily reliant on their parents.
We all needed our parents’ care to grow and develop as happy, healthy kids. So when we lost our mom or dad at a supermarket or amusement park, it naturally felt terrifying.
The sense of panic from discovering that you’re all alone in the world is an all too familiar feeling. Luckily, many of us would be reunited with our parents within minutes, if not seconds.
Now imagine getting lost in a much larger space – for three whole days.
Jude Leyton, a 3-year-old-toddler, went missing in South Frontenac at around 11 a.m. on Sunday, March 28.
For almost 72 hours, the toddler battled the wilderness around his family’s remote countryside cottage, enduring heavy rain and strong winds. while rescue teams searched desperately for him.
Thankfully, little Jude was eventually found alive, almost a kilometer away from his home.
A team of four Ontario Provincial Police officers – Const. Greg Verney, Const. Peter Wrigglesworth, Const. Mike Ball, as well as Const. Scott McNames – were the first people to learn that Jude was miraculously unharmed.
In an interview with CTV News Ottawa, Scott said that they “never gave up” in their search for Jude, and described the moment when they finally found him, saying:
“I said to Greg, ‘there’s something blue up there,’ and he ran up ahead, and I came up beside him and he said, ‘it’s him.'”
Astoundingly, while Jude was a little dehydrated, he was otherwise unscathed.
For Scott, the moment that the toddler was reunited with his parents is something he’ll remember forever.
“They came down the trail. They came and met us before we got back to the cottage. And yeah, it was nice to give him to his mom and dad. Very nice moment. Needless to say, they were very happy. We all were.”
The question we’re all asking, though, is how did Jude manage to get so lost in the first place?
Speaking to Global News, the little boy’s grandfather, Chris Fisher, hinted that Jude had “wandered off” when he said:
“It’s a very treacherous area if you wander off. It’s quite easy to get lost. Even I have been turned around on the property myself.”
If you’re a parent yourself, you’ll know how easy it is to lose your little one.
Perhaps Jude was playing in the yard and headed out beyond his grandfather’s line of vision – then simply kept walking.
Whatever the cause of Jude’s disappearance, Chris is just glad that his grandson has been found alive and well. He said:
“It’s just amazing he survived. I don’t even know if I would have lived that long.”
100 people were involved in the search, including underwater search crews, air units, and ground searches.
The terrain wasn’t easy to traverse, either – there were lakes, swamps, cliffs and water features to navigate.
After being rescued, Jude was taken straight to Kingston General Hospital to be checked out by doctors. We wish him a happy recovery – and he certainly won’t wander off in the woods again!
You can watch a video documenting the rescue just below.
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