YARMOUTH – Just moments before seeing her daughter, Chevonne Pratt spoke to CapeCod.com and was almost overcome with emotion.
“I’m just very excited. I’m so happy. It is a million dollars when your daughter calls and you actually hear her. It’s so great to hear her and that she’s alive and well and coming back home to us,” she said.
Her daughter is 15-year-old Michaela Gulley who went missing almost a month ago when she and another teenaged girl walked out of the Robert F. Kennedy Treatment Facility at around midnight on August 7.
The family lives in Brewster, and Michaela was being treated at the facility for mental and emotional issues.
Pratt and her husband received a call from Michaela at about 3 a.m. early this morning. Pratt said she arrived in New York City at about 7 this morning.
“My car honestly had wings all the way down to New York City from Cape Cod
At 9:30 a.m., Pratt was at a hospital in New York City waiting to see her daughter who was being evaluated at the hospital.
Michaela had been panhandling from a stranger and asked for 50 cents. The stranger asked what the money was for and Michaela said she wanted to call her parents.
Instead of giving her the money, the stranger lent Michaela her phone to make the call.
Michaela called her mother, father and her grandmother her lives on Nantucket.
Pratt said, “She said, ‘I’m scared. I want to come home.'”
Pratt said she asked Michaela if she was in Boston. “She said, ‘No, Mom, I’m in New York City.'”
When Michaela have the phone back to the woman, Pratt asked her to call the police to come get the girl. She did that and police transported Michaela to a New York City hospital.
“We’re really grateful that that person offered her phone because if not, we wouldn’t be here today
Pratt said Michaela had apparently taken a bus to New York City but Pratt said she did not know how her daughter paid for the bus.
Michaela told her mother she’s been living and sleeping on the streets and going to homeless shelters for meals and panhandling since her disappearance.
Pratt said Michaela told her in the phone call, “I’m sorry I missed your birthday. I was going to call you.”
“I said the best birthday you could have given me is to call now,” Pratt said she told Michaela.
The girl will now be brought back to Cape Cod and reunited with her family, Pratt said. “And hopefully get her into a therapeutic residential environment where Michaela can make effective progress and give her the services she needs so this doesn’t happen to her again because it’s extremely traumatic for a kid with mental illness to be on the street.”