DALLAS - How does a man recovering from brain surgery and suffering from amnesia slip away from a hospital?
Jose Manuel Calleros-Avila, 31, was found Thursday morning, which was 13 hours after he walked out of Parkland Hospital where he underwent brain surgery.
Family members said Calleros-Avila left his eighth-floor room at Parkland Hospital around 8:30 p.m. and was seen leaving the hospital on security cameras more than 30 minutes later at 9:10 p.m.
When he walked out of the hospital he was dressed in the street clothes he had been re-learning to put on as part of physical therapy. He was also wearing a protective helmet to cover the portion of skull he's been missing since a critical brain injury in May. He's suffered from amnesia ever since.
He was real confused, said Robert Orozco, the patient's nephew. He didn't know where he was, like he thought this was a hotel.
Security measures were in place to prevent Calleros-Avila, who was a known flight risk, from leaving the hospital. While Parkland officials said they followed procedures, the patient's family said it was a dangerous failure.
As he walked from his room, alarm bands that were on his arms and legs started sounding.
A lot of nurses heard them because they even had to turn off the alarm, Orozco said. They acknowledged the alarm, except not my uncle. They literally let my uncle walk out.
Parkland police Lt. Rick Roebuck said security couldn't get there in time.
It does not alarm hospital wide, he said. It only alarms on the floor where the patients are on and they did call.
He was able to exit the building before someone could detain him, he said of why he wasn't detained.
But, security cameras showed Calleros-Avila didn't walk out of the hospital until after 9 p.m.
For the next 13 hours, no one knew where he was until he was found wandering nearly six miles away on the other side of downtown Dallas. He was picked up inside a Mexican food restaurant on the corner of Corinth and Ervay streets.
While Roebuck said he doesn't believe the incident was a major security lapse, the patient's family said they found the situation scary and serious. They said they were lucky Calleros-Avila was found before he endured yet another trauma. The family says they now plan on suing Parkland Hospital.