It took three days, but Elma Byler, 66, was finally released from the Lancaster County Mental Health Facility after being mistakenly committed a few days earlier. Byler spent the last month telling her friends and family that she was “retahren.” When she revealed this news to her physician, Dr. Mark Barenger, during a routine check-up, he immediately contacted the LCMHF.
“She told me she was…in poor mental health,” said Barenger. “Just outright told me.”
Byler then informed Barenger that she was trying to say that she was “rahterin, not retehered.”
“And I told her, ‘I know, Ms. Byler, I heard you the first time,'” said Barenger.
The LCMHF released Byler after finally being informed by her family that she was going to stop working, now that she was in her sixties. A few more tests confirmed that Byler had a very functional brain, and she went home.
“For the record,” said Byler, “I’m not retarded. I’m rihtehren.”