SNF staff recognized for caring for missing disabled girl with hypothermia

Concord Care and Rehabilitation Center, where the girl was found.
Concord Care and Rehabilitation Center, where the girl was found.

Employees at an Ohio nursing home have made headlines for taking in and caring for a 12-year-old girl who disappeared from her home last week and had slept outside in 50-degree temperatures.

Suffering from hypothermia, the girl showed up at Concord Care and Rehabilitation Center in Cortland, OH, on Thursday morning, roughly 21 hours after she disappeared from her home three miles away in Fowler, OH. The girl, whose family said she has a developmental disability and has run away before, told employees she was headed toward a local park that had a playground.

The girl's disappearance sparked a search by local police and the Ohio State Highway Patrol that stretched Wednesday evening into Thursday morning. Concord staff members said she was wet and appeared cold when she was found.

"She was different shades of blue and purple. Her toes were purple and she was very cold,” Christy Romig, assistant director of nursing at the facility, told local reporters. “Clearly, she was out all night long.”

Concord staff took the girl to the dining hall and fed her fried chicken, hot chocolate and a cookie. They also helped her change into dry clothes and warm her up before an ambulance arrived to take her to a hospital for evaluation and treatment for hypothermia.

“I did tell her, you know, if you ever need anything … if anything ever happens like this again, you come here, it's a safe place,” Romig said.