Alzheimer's woman survives in ravine

A 78-year-old Alzheimer’s sufferer was found following a week without food and drink after falling into a forest ravine

5 September 2010

AN ELDERLY Alzheimer’s sufferer was found alive a week after she fell into a forest ravine.

Michèle Riotton, 78, fell while walking alone in the forest near her home in Haute-Savoie on Sunday, August 29.

A gendarmerie helicopter and some 60 people, including locals, firefighters and gendarmes, searched for her after she did not come home, but they gave up by the Monday night.

She was then found, around 700m from home, when locals started searching again the following Saturday.

One of the people who found her, Patrice Frossard, described her survival as a miracle, but deplored the fact the emergency services had given up the search “so quickly”.

He said that, when they found her, Mrs Riotton asked them to be careful because the ground was slippery and apologised for being “dirty and not presentable”.

She was taken to hospital by helicopter, suffering from bruises, mainly to a hand, and dehydration. She said she had survived by eating two biscuits and drinking rainwater that fell on her face.

• Le Train Alzheimer sets off tomorrow from Paris’s Gare de l’Est to visit 13 large French towns. It will be providing free information on board about the disease and its treatment, and factors that can aggravate it, such as malnutrition. The train will be open for visits from 9.00 to 19.00.

The stops will be:
- Paris Est September 7
- Lille Flandres September 8
- Mulhouse September 9
- Dijon September 12
- Lyon Perrache September 13
- Nice September 14
- Marseille Saint-Charles September 15
- Montpellier September 16
- Toulouse Matabiau September 17
- Nantes September 18
- Bordeaux Saint-Jean September 19
- Clermont-Ferrand September 20
- Paris Nord September 21

For more information see Le Train Alzheimer

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