NewsCovering Colorado


Family thanks landscapers for rescuing loved one

Rescue reunion hugs.jpg
Posted at 10:42 PM, Feb 20, 2022

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado — The family of a man found sitting alone in the middle of the night in subzero weather outside of his assisted living facility recently met and thanked the members of the landscaping crew who rescued their father and grandfather.

Brady Graham, 93, has recovered from the ordeal and moved into a new facility.

The crew from Metco Landscape arrived at the Bridge at Colorado Springs Assisted Living Center at around 1:30 a.m. on Thursday, February 3 to shovel the snow. They spotted Graham sitting in his walker wearing only a light jacket then quickly ran to get the attention of the staff at the Bridge and called 911.

"God bless them," said Brady's son Andy Graham who drove up from New Mexico on Friday to visit his dad and meet with the crew from Metco.

"That's something that's not in their job description, it's not what they're paid to do, but when they saw what needed to be done, no hesitation."

His sister Cindy Cruishank lives in Colorado Springs. She says she was contacted by the facility on the night of the incident and then phoned her siblings.

"They told me my dad had eloped which is what they call for leaving the facility and they had him back and they called the emergency people and they had taken him over to the hospital and he was in a warming room and he was doing fine," Cruikshank said.

Like her brother, she was overwhelmed with gratitude when meeting with the Metco crew.

"Thank you so much, you're angels," she said. "We're going to figure out something to do to really thank you. It's just amazing that you were there at that time."

Cruikshank explained that her father has dementia. She said he went out that night thinking that he was going to the gym or an activity center.

"When you leave the facility, the doors do lock because they do that after 5:30, and then he couldn't get back in and couldn't notify them because there's a steep hill," she said.

Cruikshank added that her father ordinarily wears a necklace or bracelet issued by the facility. However, he was not wearing it that night.

Shawna LaBarr, the manager with Metco Landscape, said her coworkers Andres Valdez-Cervantes, Samuel Guerrero, Thomas Carney, and Howard Foster immediately spotted Graham and ran for help.

"They helped notify the staff inside, they came out, it took them a while, tried to take him in through several different doors," LaBarr recalled. "Another one of the guys came to the truck and said, Shawna, call 911 right now, he's freezing."

The paramedics took Graham to the hospital where he was put in a warming room. He was released later in the day. Graham, a US Navy veteran, celebrated his 93rd birthday last week.

Cruikshank believes Divine Intervention saved her father by bringing the crew to the Bridge before any of their other stops that night.

"That was meant to be, it was just meant to be," she said. "I have I lot of faith and I think God just put them there."

LaBarr also sees Providence at work.

"My guys there, I just think they were his guardian angels that night, for sure," she said.

And like guardian angels, the Metco Landscape crew won't be far from Brady during future snowstorms, even if he's living in a new home.

"They're actually taking care of the facility that my dad moved to," Graham said. "So, he's got a following now, he's got a fan club."

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is investigating the incident. The Bridge at Colorado Springs Assisted Living Center issued a statement to News 5 after our initial story aired saying that their staff immediately responded to make sure that (Graham) was safe. That statement also says their staff is cooperating with the state health department in their investigation.

Watch KOAA News5 on your time, anytime with our free streaming app available for your Roku, FireTV, AppleTV and Android TV. Just search KOAA News5, download and start watching.