Missing since Sunday evening and exposed to harsh elements until he was found alive three days later, 22-month-old Kenneth Howard appears to have defied the odds.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, searchers found him a short distance from his home after hearing cries coming from the bottom of a 50-foot drop. Aside from dehydration, officials say he was in remarkably good shape.
WYMT spoke to a local pediatrician who has some theories about how the young boy survived by himself in the wooded area.
“Those elements, it can put the body through frostbite actually, especially if you’re in water,” Dr. Molly O’Rourke said.
In this case, however, Kenneth Howard’s young age likely bought him some crucial time. Considering an adult typically lives only about three days without water, O’Rourke said a child “can actually tolerate it better” because they usually have more water reserves in their bodies.
Nevertheless, he survived possible infection from scrapes and any number of other possible hazards, O’Rourke noted.
Upon his discovery, the Magoffin County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that Howard was “being attended by medics for dehydration,” which O’Rourke said is typical of someone found in such an environment.
“This is amazing,” the doctor concluded. “This is really good.”
[Featured image: Kenneth Howard/Magoffin County Sheriff’s Office]