With his father listed in serious condition at Thursday afternoon, Matthew Nadler stood outside the hospital to discuss the news that his father Dr. Jerome Nadler , calling it "a miraculous story."
"It seemed like a dim possibility," Matthew Nadler said, that his father would be found alive after nearly four days of being lost on the shoreline of Caleb Smith State Park.
According to a report in Newsday, Jerome Nadler, 76, was found shortly after noon on Thursday by a Suffolk police dog, Chase, and his handlers, officers William Krolikiewicz and Samuel Barreto. He had been at the park, and was found about 200 feet southeast of the Nissequogue River lying in an area surrounded by brush and thickets. The report said Chase first found a half-ounce bottle of a fly-fisherman's floatant, then found Nadler about 50 feet away.
Newsday quoted parks police commander Capt. Bruce Marx as saying Nadler had "a million bug bites on him." Nadler was airlifted to the hospital.
At the hospital, Nadler's doctor, Dr. Frederick Schiavone, said it's not immediately clear how the man was able to survive the harsh elements of the last few days without food or water. But Schiavone said Nadler was wearing a wet suit, which he said likely protected him from some of the harsh conditions.
"He does look like someone who has been weathered in watery conditions. ... almost like someone who has survived in the middle of the ocean," said Schiavone, adding that Nadler is "lucky to be alive."
Newsday reported that the officers who found him described him as conscious: he knew his name, his location, and why he was there – and even joked with the officers that he had been sleeping.
Matthew Nadler – who arrived early Tuesday morning from his home in Overland Park, Kansas, after it was determined his father was missing – described his father as "a very tough individual." Jerome Nadler, an internist with more than 35 years in practice who studied medicine in Switzerland, is a U.S. Navy veteran.
"We are all in a much happier place than we were a few hours ago," Matthew Nadler said.