Man with dementia discharged from JFK Medical Center alone, family says; went missing for 25 hours

Posted at 6:46 PM, Jan 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-03 00:17:07-05

The family of a 60-year-old man with dementia couldn't believe it when he was let out of a local hospital, left to wander the streets alone, instead of a call to his caretaker. It prompted a police search. Thankfully the man was later found, but now the family wants answers from the JFK Medical Center.

Frank Padykula, 60, went missing on Friday, when it down below 50 degrees overnight, with just the clothes on his back, and his ID, and wallet with no money.

“His mental capacity is minute to minute or 10 minutes to 10 minutes...he doesn't remember,” his twin sister Fran Padykula Vogell told us over the phone from her Delaware home. "Am I ticked at the hospital?  Yeah. I could do the ‘what if.’"

Her brother lives with a specialized caretaker in Palm Beach County. On Thursday, after suffering a second seizure that day, he was taken to the JFK Medical Center for the second time. Set for overnight observation, Fran says the hospital was supposed to call the caretaker when Frank was ready to go home, just like they did the first time, but for some reason, they didn't.

"Somebody wasn't watching.  Somebody wasn't looking at his records,” Fran says.  She says Frank walked out of JFK at 3pm Friday. As night fell and the temperature dropped, Frank was nowhere to be found.

"All I could picture was seizures without medication that he was supposed to take three times a day,” Fran says.

Atlantis police opened up a missing person’s case.

Twenty five and half hours later, the caretaker's boyfriend found Frank sitting at a bus stop not far from the hospital, safe, but disheveled

"He was a mess,” Fran says.

And now Fran wants answers: "How could he have been released on his own?  How could he have been?” she asks.

NewsChannel 5 asked the hospital and a spokesperson responded with this two sentence statement:

“At JFK Medical Center the safety and security of our patients is our primary focus, during their stay and when being discharged. We are currently reviewing the policies surrounding this situation.” -Lisa Gardi-Director of Marketing, JFK Medical Center

Fran says it's unlikely she will go to JFK in the future.  Right now her focus is on being proactive for her brother's healthcare.

Follow Andrew on Facebookand Twitter.