February 27, 2021

Missing Heard County man found safe in downtown Atlanta

(Atlanta, GA) — A stroke patient from Heard County has been found safe several days after he went missing from Grady Memorial Hospital’s emergency room.

James David Brittain, Sr. was reunited with his family after they learned he was at Atlanta Medical Center.

Mr. Brittain was admitted to the hospital Saturday after having a “medical incident”, his niece Lynne Simpson confirmed to the AJC.

Mr. David Brittain with his daughter Carissa Fields (Photo: Facebook)

The 73-year-old had been last seen in Grady’s emergency room about 9:00 AM Friday morning.

According to authorities, he was flown from Heard County to Grady last Wednesday after suffering a stroke.

His daughter, Carissa Fields, reported him missing after he walked away from the hospital Friday morning before being formally discharged.

Surveillance video reviewed by hospital staff showed Mr. Brittain leaving the hospital, Fields told Channel 2 Action News.

“They issued a code green and then later said they saw him leave the Pratt Street exit at 9:50,” Fields said.

Authorities at the time said Brittain has diminished cognitive abilities and limited vision in one eye. He was reportedly unable to speak or tell others what his name is.

“The blood clot affected his cognition,” said Fields, who lives in Newnan. “He couldn’t comprehend what people were saying to him and though he was trying to speak, everything would come out gibberish.”

The search for Brittain lasted through the weekend, and on Monday morning Fields and other family members were still handing out flyers near Grady.

“Walking around and showing people my phone and his picture and things like that, and some of the park areas,” Fields told WSB-TV.

Simpson said it’s not clear where Brittain went after leaving Grady on Friday, but he was taken to Atlanta Medical by ambulance the next day.

“He’s been there in the hospital since Saturday, but he was unable to identify himself,” she said. “I guess he’d removed his Grady bracelet and didn’t have any other identification on him.

A doctor at Atlanta Medical contacted police after recognizing Brittain from flyers and news reports, his niece said. One of Brittain’s daughters drove to the hospital to be with him, she said.

Brittain’s family said he appears to be stable and is resting comfortably.

(WSB-TV Channel 2 and the AJC contributed to this report) 

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