Two years after dramatic rescue, Robbie Wood thriving

Posted at 12:09 AM, Oct 24, 2013
and last updated 2013-10-24 06:49:18-04

CAROLINE COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) - Robbie Wood loves his swing set.

It’s where his mom lets him unwind.  But she still watches him like a hawk.

"He was 34 pounds when they found him.  Now he's 122," said Barbara Locker.

Robbie's story made national headlines two years ago today, after the young boy wandered off at North Anna Battlefield Park in Hanover.

He went missing for six days as thousands of volunteers from all over, along with every law enforcement resource imaginable, worked to help bring him home.

Dehydrated, and suffering from hypothermia, he was found in the fetal position, but alive.

"I could've lost my child," said Locker.

It was an event in life where valuable lessons were learned.  Parents of children with autism, families that have relatives with dementia, all re-evaluated their emergency plans during those tense six days, with some signing up for Project Lifesaver.

"It's a program that the county offers at no cost and it helps us find children and adults a lot quicker," said Lt. Chris Whitley.

Law enforcement not only searched, but networked with national organizations that help find missing children during that time; they now team up for top notch training.

Also bonding, little Robbie and his state-funded caregiver, Timothy Fortune.

"He hugged me and in an instant, there was a bond,” said Fortune.  “God put me in his life for a reason.”

And that reason  was obvious this week, as Robbie and his mom are now helping Fortune get through a painful loss.   A family member, a 14-year-old girl, committed suicide a couple of days ago.

"I know what it feels like to fear that last day.  You get a sick feeling,” said Locker.   And did she have that feeling?  “Yeah.  So, I know exactly what [Fortune’s family is] going through.  Mine just ended better."

Robbie Wood turns 11 on November 20.  He’s now a fifth grader and mom said he always wears his Project Lifesaver transmitter.