A mum whose three-year-old autistic son was rescued last week after getting lost in NSW Hunter Valley bushland for three days says she believes he was kept safe by a guardian angel.
Anthony "AJ" Elfalak, who is non-verbal, went missing from his family's remote rural property in Putty about 11.45am on September 3.
He was reunited with his relieved parents three days later after being spotted drinking water from a creek by a rescue helicopter during a frantic search of the rugged bushland around his home.
AJ’s mum opened up about the harrowing event on social media this week, saying she believes her son was being watched over by the Virgin Mary.
“We’re a religious family ... I always say that the Virgin Mary and all the saints and the angels are with my kids every day,” Kelly Elfalak said in an online video, News Corp reports.
“The Virgin Mary is always with us and I knew she was always with AJ.
“If you saw the picture of AJ in the creek, you can actually see the Virgin Mary next to him.”
Ms Elfalak went on to say that she had prayed and took holy communion the morning her son was found, believing she was “going to see him soon”.
“I was in shock. It was such a relief. I can’t describe it. I just couldn’t believe that they found my baby,” she said of the moment she learned AJ was found safe.
She said that although AJ was “very distraught” when he was located, he’s now “doing really well”.
The three-year-old had ant bites and scrapes on him when he was rescued.
After the rescue helicopter spotted AJ, Hunter Region Commander Simon Merrick said an SES volunteer walked up to him and put his hand on his shoulder.
“[AJ] turned to him with a massive smile on his face that he will not forget,” Mr Merrick told reporters last week.
“It was an emotional moment.”
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