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Mr. Shin Ik Noh has been missing since Wed. Sept 18th @ 10:30am
Last seen near his home at Lansdowne Dr. & Mccoomb Dr. in Coquitlam, B.C.
Noh has Alzheimer's disease with his condition worsening the past few years. Otherwise is in good physical shape and can walk long distances.
He is a retired pastor and may be seek churches and respond to gospel music.
PLEASE HELP US LOOK FOR HIM IN YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD. As you will be the most familiar with all the nooks and crannies in your areas, please help us and check nearby bushes, creeks, hills, and forested areas. Then help us record your search by placing a pin on the map where you looked so we can focus on areas that have not been searched. And please spread the word! If everyone in the vicinity of Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody look around their neighbourhood we will have a much greater chance to find him.
"As long as I don't forget my wife, my daughter Rebecca, and my son Sam, nothing else matters" - Shin Noh
7 months ago my father was with us. We would go for sushi every Friday night. He'd help me run errands for my fitness studio and he'd even help clean the studio for me. He was so pleased to be helping out. I am so lucky to have had a great relationship with my father. During this time he was coherent and knew exactly what was happening to him. He knew he was losing his ability to perform day-to-day abilities. I remember him saying, "As long as I don't forget my wife, my daughter Rebecca, and my son Sam, nothing else matters". It crushed my heart every time he mentioned it.
To describe Alzheimer's, it's like dying with your eyes open… It was heartbreaking to watch my dad deteriorate before our eyes. My dad is a very educated man. (I prefer to use the present tense). He graduated from Yonsei University, considered one of the top universities in Korea. I remember him always being occupied with an abundance of books. Each room of the house had an extensive library. My dad's very witty and full of wisdom. If you ask him a question, he always has an answer and spoke the truth whether you wanted to hear it or not. I saw my father as being very genuine, down to earth, and well liked.
Some days I thought he was getting better. Some that knew him, didn't even realize he had Alzheimer's. However as time passed, it was evident that he was having more 'bad' days than 'good' days. Typical tasks such as differentiating a fork from a spoon became increasingly difficult. It was also difficult on my mom as the care giving duties increased. My father frequently wanted to go outside for a walk and could never understand when we wouldn't let him. He would get angry and storm out. Yes, we wish we could have done more. I don't think we really understood the disease. It was hard on us as much as it was hard on my father. We eventually discussed that we would need to have him administered to a care facility, which absolutely devastated him. I remember seeing the depression and pain in his eyes.
Now, it's been over 6 months. Seconds quickly pass, minutes and days go on, weeks and months fly by. Life seems to move on around me, although my reality still remains the same. My father has yet to be found. My family is still waiting for him to return or for something to surface. It's amazing that my father is still missing to this day. I've watched episodes of Dateline NBC of people going missing. Never thought it would hit so close to home. It feels surreal. My heart aches as I try to conceptualize how my father is still missing and how we don't know where he is. It's mentally and physically excruciating going up a trail looking for clues and scanning the roads looking at every face while I drive around.
Every waking moment, my thoughts are still occupied with memories of my father. Although much time has passed, I still don't know how to deal with him missing. Having a loved one go missing isn't a natural process of life. Neither is cancer, disease, or murder. All of them are horrible and no one is deserving of any of them.
There are so many unanswered questions. How do you conceptualize that a family member is missing and how do you decide if they're alive or dead? It takes immense effort to vanish from the face of the earth, even if you tried to intentionally. People running from the law who try to hide are typically caught. How could a man with Alzheimer's go missing when he's not trying to go missing?
Maybe we've been spared by not having to see dad regress even further as his Alzheimer's progressed, but I'm not ready to go down that road. Maybe I'll find peace one day that he left doing what he loved. Maybe one day, I will. But for now, I am still determined to find him one way or another. I'll continue to look for him. Searching is part of my reality.
I want to end by saying how grateful my family is towards our community. I can't help but think how different our situation would be without your support. I am really hoping something positive comes from all of this. The community support has been amazing and still is. It blows me away that so many people who have never met my father, or have even met our family, have gone out of their way to try to help. I'm extremely touched and your ongoing compassion has changed me as a man. I am indebted to my community and mark my words, we will make the Silver Alert Bill a reality. As long as I'm alive, I'll be aggressively pushing to pass this bill so other families do not have to go through this.
Noh Family at Rebecca's wedding
Pleased to hear that Selina Robinson met with the Health Minister, Terry Lake, today regarding the Silver Alert.
"Within a generation, the number of Canadians with Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia will more than double." We need the Silver Alert in our communities. I'm sure there's huge public support for this bill to become legislation.
This week we celebrated my niece's 2nd birthday. Even more heart breaking not having my father present to celebrate his granddaughter's birthday. Natalee brought so much joy to my father. My dad would frequently ask mom when Natalee would be coming over.
If you haven't seen this video, this video is of Natalee searching and calling out for her grandpa. He needs to be found!
Today marks the 6 month mark of my dad's mysterious disappearance. It's still hard to grasp the reality that my father is missing. It seems like yesterday, I was taking my dad out for sushi, which we typically did every week. He would also ride along with me, while I did errands for my fitness studio. Memories of my dad are still very present and I'm still constantly thinking about him every waking moment, and sometimes even dreaming about him. I'm still not sure how to move "forward". I like to say, "move forward" rather than "move on", because moving on sounds like we're leaving him behind.
I'm also still driving around looking at faces on the street, looking at faces when at restaurants, and when I'm at the super market. Do I think he's alive? I hope for a miracle that he's surviving. I don't know. I'd think if he is alive, we would have found him already. If he is alive, he would have to be with someone. I don't see him aimlessly walking the streets alone. He wouldn't know where to go to find food and shelter. On the other hand, if he wasn't alive, I think something should have surfaced already. All I can do right now is test out theories and rule them out.
On Saturday, a group of us searched parts of the trails stemming from the Harper Pin. We found a bible and a bone of an animal, which are unrelated to my dad. We're hoping to get some dogs in that area to comb the trails. As well, once the weather warms up, I'd like to search the trails further north. I'm drawn to the Burke Mountain Trails north of the Harper Pin, and also drawn to Quarry Road. 75% of Alzheimer patients travel in a South Westerly direction. However, my dad traveled in a North Easterly direction, which is in the direction of the Harper Pin and Quarry Road. With many access points to the vast network of trails in Burke Mountain, I'm drawn to further search this area.
On behalf of my family, I'd like to thank all of you for your amazing support. Your support has kept our family strong. When my father was with us, our family felt alone to battle Alzheimer's. Even though my dad's still missing, we don't feel alone anymore. Your support is a huge blessing.
I traveled to the B.C Legislature today with my brother in law, to support the bill for the Silver Alert. We were pleased to hear about the introduction of this bill for the Silver Alert. Although this doesn't change our situation, we want to save other families the pain and anguish from going through this. It's like walking up each day in hell. The "not knowing" is excruciating. I wake up each day hoping to wake up from this nightmare….
Had there been the Silver Alert, my father would already have been found. Currently our community does not have a strategy in place. I learned today that the province does not need a huge budget for the Silver Alert. We already have the infrastructure in place with the Amber Alert, which can be used for the Silver Alert. It'll cost the province more, by not having a Sliver Alert in place.
We thank Selina Robinson for putting this bill together and hope the Ministry of Health will take action and put this system in place in our communities, as many more will be diagnosed with Alzheimer's and many more will wander.
Currently, we have very few leads. We are desperately asking for the public's assistance in spreading the word that he's still missing. Many are aware of his disappearance and we've all tried what we could to find him. However, there are still people who are unaware of his disappearance. Someone has to know something. My father cannot just vanish without a trace.
So we are renewing our plea for the safe return of my father, Shin Noh. Now that the search has been ongoing for over 4 months, we feel a need to consider other strategies and post a reward for his safe return.
After much discussion and consideration, our family has decided to post a reward of $10,000 for information leading the safe return of my father. There was much debate about a reward during the initial stages of our search. Some felt we should have done this earlier; however, we were receiving an abundance of leads. We were concerned that a reward during the initial stages would generate too many false leads and exhaust search efforts already stretched thin. As well, the safety of our volunteers has always been a concern.
Please share this new poster with your network on Facebook, emails, and in person. We will be targeting the homeless community and also the ethnic community such as the Chinese community and others who aren't fully aware of his disappearance. We have posters available in English and Chinese at the Search HQ, and also available for download here: English version and Chinese version.
As we feel the most probable place he could be is in or near the Downtown east-side, we recently distributed these posters as flyers through Canada Post to over 7500 homes in this area. It may be a long-shot, but we hope this brings awareness to anyone living there who may know something...anything.
We thank the following for making this reward poster possible:
The Noh family would also like to again thank you for your support and strength during this difficult time. We hope my dad's disappearance will continue to bring a positive change in our community and will lead to the creation of strategies in our community for finding seniors with Alzheimer's who wander, and improving their lives and the lives of their loved ones. Many have also tirelessly donated their time and resources to search for my dad and sometimes it seems like in vain, since we haven't found him yet. But we believe every effort counts and we are moved by how his disappearance has brought the whole community together. Literally thousands have helped search for my dad, even during the wee hours of the night. We realize many have searched on their own and contributed either by praying or spreading the word. We deeply thank every one of you.
*The picture is of me and my dad on the airplane heading to Korea last year. I took a picture of Dad making a funny face pretending to be scared of flying to send to my mom*
It's been 4 months, since my dad vanished. I was hoping as time went on, I would be able to cope and come to closure with dad missing. Time is supposed to heal, but that hasn't happened yet. Every waking moment whether I'm at work, at home, or out driving, 80% of my head space is occupied with where the heck is he? I've read blogs of families who have a loved one missing. Closure does eventually happen, but it takes 10 times as long compared to receiving closure from a loved one dying. I don't blame anyone for coming to their own conclusions, whether he is alive or deceased. I'm just not ready to go down the road that we may never find him. I'm going to believe that my dad is alive and that he won't pass on so easily. I'm going to continue to search. Searching has become part of my life and my grieving process.
I'm currently feeling anger and frustration, which I suspect is part of my grieving process. I wish I had done more. Dad devoted his life to God and tirelessly helped the community, including the homeless community by distributing sandwiches. Before dad went missing, I lived with resentment towards some select members of the community, who caused our family distress in the past. Consequently, I alienated myself from "that community" and had an immense hate on them. The irony is they popped back in our lives with dad missing, helping to search for him. I have to admit there is such a thing as forgiveness, and I'm ready to put that resentment behind me. People talk about a greater meaning for all of us. I'm not sure what that exactly is right now. What I do know is my heart has grown bigger with the immense support from family, friends, and the community. If only dad knew how he's brought everyone together.
I do feel our family was ill equipped to deal with this, and hope our situation will bring a positive change for families who will be dealing with Alzheimer's in the future. From the point of diagnosis by his GP, there wasn't any discussion about wandering or the potential of him getting lost. I suppose this had to do with a lack of awareness of this disease or that it wasn't within their scope of practice to inform us? Our medical system and community currently lack resources and strategies to deal with dementia. However, I'm outraged that our GP didn't submit my dad's referral papers to see a specialist, until 8 months after being diagnosed. The reason for this is unknown. Such valuable time lost! Once we did see a specialist after a 1 year of being diagnosed by our GP, our specialist discussed treatment methods, the different stages of Alzheimer's, care giving and even mentioned he could go for walks and bike rides. He just couldn't drive anymore, since his reaction time would be off. Again, there was no discussion about wandering. Perhaps, the specialist didn't feel it was his responsibility to warn us? I can understand that, but I'm sure he had patients who wandered??? Furthermore, the Alzheimer's Society "recently" published a "Wandering Kit", although wandering by Alzheimer patients have been known for quite some time. Once again, greater awareness for this disease is needed. I really think GPS tracking devices is the best preventative method. Yes, there are privacy issues with this. Aren't most of you on Facebook and don't most of you have a smart phone? Your privacy has already been compromised. Our family did think wandering was a possibility but suspected this would happen in the late stages of the disease. We now know a high percentage of Alzheimer patients do wander and get lost, and that it can happen at any stage of the disease. But how do you constrain a grown adult? It's like incarcerating him against his will.
I hope my dad's story will bring about a positive change to spare many other families who will be dealing with this. "In just five years, as many as 50 per cent more Canadians and their families could be facing Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia." I believe there are preventative measures that can be taken before issuing a Silver Alert. I'm pleased the Ministry of Health will be launching the First Link Program, "designed to connect individuals and families affected by Alzheimer's disease or another dementia with services and support as soon as possible after diagnosis".
Although I haven't been posting much lately, I personally read all your messages and I am overwhelmed by your support. Your messages provide strength and hope. We will be mailing out a 7,500 piece direct mail campaign this week in a select "ethnic" populated area, and will be rolling out with some other strategies. I'm not giving up. Stay tuned for details… God Bless you all.
Happy New Year and Happy 65th birthday dad!
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For previous updates, go here