Family Of Man With Memory Loss Urged To Come Forward

LAKEWOOD (CBS) — Lakewood Regional Medical Center needs help identifying an 80-year-old man suffering memory loss after having a stroke.

Austin Small has been a patient at the hospital since January and has limited memory. He has been able to remember his name and birth date, but police do not have any additional information about him.

Small is unable to speak clearly or walk. Medical officials said he is not expected to fully recover from a massive stroke and cannot be released without a family member, friend or care facility.

“We are trying to located family or a significant other,” said Jeff Curel, the hospital’s manager of social services. “We might get a couple of cases like this — two or three — a year, but we usually have success by now through fingerprinting or missing persons checks.

“It is not uncommon for stroke victims to experience memory loss and confusion.”

Small is aware he is in a hospital, receiving medical care, Curel said.

Small walked to the hospital and may have lived within walking distance, in the Lakewood or Long Beach areas. Officials believe he may have worked or lived recently in Costa Mesa or El Centro.

Small has told hospital officials he was born and raised in Trinidad, married to a woman named Vida or Vita and had two children, Kurt and Tiffany. He says he also has family living in Houston, or Fife, Texas.

Small was described as a tall, black man with white hair and only two bottom teeth.

Anyone with information about Small can contact the hospital’s Social Services Department at (562) 602-6787.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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