ESCAPE from a Nursing Home

Don Fulk’s Great Get’away Story – July 15, 1996

I feel great about my new life in Pennsylvania. My mind is now very much relieved. Thanks to the Lord for my escape from the nursing home.

About two weeks ago, I began to try to figure out how to get away from nursing home. Like to escape. Until suddenly Woody Osburn came in with his mom. WOW! That’s most unbelievable when he asked me. In my mind, how does he know that I want ESCAPE. I wonder did God send him to me like an angel or ESP?? I don’t know that mystery life.

Also, new friends at Pennsylvania. They seem all angels, too, they support me. WOW! That great and wonderful Woody is my HERO!!

Cop did try to follow me. Like chase a wild chicken until I escape. Oklahoma has no hope for me. Nursing home is not good place for me. If they caught me and return me back to Oklahoma, then I would be dead. God did help open a way for my freedom. MIRACLE!!

On that Sunday, I plan for escape. They know that I shall have a picnic and bible study at the park. Some friends usually come join with me from Texas. The LPN asked me “What time shall you go to the park today?”

My answer was, “at 1 pm.”

She says, ” OK, thanks. You can go.”

Everyone at the nursing home acted funny. One old lady asked me if I plan to run away. That surprised me so I play it cool. I try to act normal. I talked about being excited about going to a church revival at Shawnee, Oklahoma, 15 miles away this coming Monday through Friday for the deaf. Also, I fax my brother and asked him to meet me at the revival in Shawnee and asked him to please bring a camera with him. I hope that this may help it look like I am n ot planning to run away. Try to fool them all. The cop did come and check on me outside of Parkland Manor at a little after 1 PM. That’s what made me suspect that they knew my plan. Then, he drove to the nursing home. A LPN Nurse did come out and talk with the cop. I saw with my binoculars. Ha! I stayed a little more longer until they get busy. Then I walk out at 1:40 PM without let them know.

I did bring binoculars with me. Not for birds only but for cop car. I spot him at the swimming pool near the park. That is where Woody, my friend, is supposed to pick me up.

So, I go straight to the cop and asked him “Are you following me?”

He says, “NO.”

He can’t fool me! I’m smart enough. I keep a watch out for him to follow me. Fifteen minutes later, the same cop is watching me from the red stop sign at a store where they sell pop, candies, etc. So, I went into the store and he looks nervous. He left quickly. Then, I went the other way. There is same cop car. When I waved my hand at him, he drove away. Then I moved through the residential block like crazy for about two hours. Around like hide and seek. HA! HA! Very funny!

Woody’s van drove by me in the street. The driver waved at me then his hand sign says, “go back other way to next block.” Then, I nod my head and go around to the other block. I couldn’t find the van and wait for a little more and still it did not show up. In my mind, I think maybe he mean I should go across that street so I did. Still I couldn’t find him. “I’m lost!! Oh no!” I pray, “Please let me find him!” I kept running around through blocks for around 30 min until van found me. Driver says, “Go to the church near here.”

So, I rode to the church. The van was there. Woody says, “Let Go!” I was worried that the Cop might give Woody a trouble, so I said, “Cop suspect!” But Woody says, “Don’t worry and Let’s go!”

So, I did jump in the van. Escape!! I keep looking back to see if a cop car is chasing this van. Still, no sign of cop car. I kept saying in my heart, “go…, go…, go…,go…” like a hymn that I sing in my sign language. Woody understands me clearly and laughs with a big smile. I give him and the driver a big kiss with best hug. God bless them both! Big relief when we are out of Oklahoma!! I stayed hidden inside the van all the way. Drove through Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. My heart jumps with many bless from God.

Also, many new friends support me very strongly and protect me very well plus best care. I really appreciate!! What a adventure!! Victory !!

Author: Don Fulk – July 15, 1996

This is a real story written by Don Fulk orginally of Tulsa Oklahoma. His good friend Woody Osburn helped him to escape from a nursing home Oklahoma to find a new life in Washington Pennsylvania. This essay was written during the first week after his escape. Don is a quad and deaf. He wants to share his story so that others will understand how wonderful freedom is and how centers for independent living can help attain freedom.

Don Fulk Passed away on February 17, 1998, while living in his own apartment here in Washington, Pennsylvania. The TRIPIL staff became friends with Don, and truly miss him.

(Last updated February 2002)