NEW MILFORD, N.J. (PIX11) — The wife of a retired New York City transit worker who has severe memory loss texted PIX11 News Wednesday to say, “He was found in Brooklyn! Thank you!”
Stephanie Haas-Thorne did not provide any details about the condition of her husband, Michael “Shaka” Thorne, who had disappeared early Saturday morning from his home in New Milford, and she wasn’t reachable by phone. But the man’s brother confirmed Wednesday night Thorne had been found.
The 58-year-old Thorne was forced to retire from his job as a transit worker after he was hit on the head with a concrete block three years ago. Thorne’s wife said he was laying track in East New York, Brooklyn in August 2019, when a random passerby threw the block at his head.
Haas-Thorne said a neurologist had diagnosed her husband with traumatic brain injury but said he’d gone back to work after three weeks because he didn’t have headaches and wasn’t dizzy.
She said her husband’s memory problems got worse in the summer of 2020.
“I would ask simple things, and he wouldn’t be able to perform my instructions,” Haas-Thorne said, noting that her husband was still driving a car at that time.
She said her husband wanted to keep working because the couple — who have two children and a grandson they’re raising — had just bought a house in New Milford, New Jersey.
The wife said Thorne didn’t want to collect money from workers’ comp.
Haas-Thorne said she finally had to start hiding the car keys when her husband couldn’t work anymore and that angered him.
“He thought it was his vehicle that had been purchased by his mother,” Haas-Thorne said.
The wife said her husband sometimes thought he was still living in New York City or his native Trinidad and Tobago.