FARMINGTON, Maine — Along with many other well wishers, Daryl “Poochie” Searles of Phillips wanted to do something when he heard the news that Nicholas Joy, 17, of Medford, Mass., had been found alive Tuesday at Sugarloaf.
Joy, who became lost while skiing Sunday, was taken to Franklin Memorial Hospital by ambulance Tuesday morning. He stayed there overnight and was discharged about 8:25 a.m. Wednesday morning.
The family successfully avoided Searles and members of the media, who were waiting outside.
Even hospital spokesman Jill Gray was surprised when she told media that the family had left. Joy was fine, she said, but tired. She could not comment any further on his condition.
When Searles first heard the news of Joy’s rescue Tuesday morning, he gathered a bunch of grapes and a whoopie pie, drove to Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington and waited outside along with media from across the state and New England.
“I saw the report and wanted to tell him how glad I am he was found,” Searles said Tuesday as he waited more than three hours.
Finally, Nicholas’ mother, Donna Joy, came out heading for her car, but Searles said he couldn’t get close. He waited for her return and offered the gift to her for Nicholas.
“She just said ‘no thanks,’” Searles said Wednesday morning.
He felt badly but said he could understand a parent’s protection.
After learning Joy spent the night at the hospital, he came back Wednesday morning in hopes of offering the gift to Nicholas and wishing him well when he left.
While hospital security sought a way for the family to leave, the family took it upon themselves to plan their own departure through a hospital exit away from waiting media and Searles.
The family had said in a statement Tuesday that he was doing well. They also thanked everyone for their hopes and prayers.
Joy spent two nights alone in a snow cave he built and then Tuesday, climbed a steep embankment to a snowmobile trail, one traveled by Maine Wardens while they searched for him Monday.
He walked down the trail Tuesday morning and was discovered by a Massachusetts snowmobiler, Joseph Paul, about 9 a.m.
Gray said Joy’s parents would allow media to contact Nicholas in a few days after he rests. They said they’re letting Joy decide whether he wants to talk about his experience or not.
Maine and Boston area television crews and a state representative from Good Morning America were waiting to talk to him at the hospital Wednesday morning.