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Medford teen who was lost at Sugarloaf returns home

MEDFORD — Nicholas Joy, the Medford teen who was lost on the side of Maine’s Sugarloaf Mountain for two frigid nights, finally arrived back home this afternoon but had no comment for a media eager to hear details of his survival story.

Joy, 17, was quickly whisked inside the house on Carolina Street by his mother, Donna Joy, where family members waited to greet him.

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“He feels awesome. It’s a celebration,” she said.

Alysson Atherton, Joy’s sister, came out later in the afternoon with her mother and told about a dozen members of the media that her brother wouldn’t be speaking today.

“He’s just tired and overwhelmed,” she said. “At some point in the future, he’ll tell his story if he wants to.”

Donna Joy said, “We’re thankful for everyone’s thoughts and prayers. ... We’re very proud of him.”

Asked how her son was doing, she said, “He’s feeling exactly like he did a week ago. He’s in a good frame of mind.”

She also described Joseph Paul, the off-duty Warwick, Mass., fire captain who found Nicholas Joy, as an “angel.”

Atherton said earlier that she had been in Maine since Sunday, helping with the search. “It was the greatest moment ever when I ran into his hospital room and saw him,” she said.

Joy’s brother, Mike Atherton, said he had just started up the side of Sugarloaf with his mother Tuesday morning to search for Joy, and they were knee-deep in snow when they got a phone call — Nick had been found alive.

“We only made it 10 minutes up the hill,” Atherton said outside the home. “My mother couldn’t stop crying.”

Joy’s cousin, Michelle Quattrocchi, brought a cake for him. She said she wasn’t surprised he survived. “He’s a smart kid,” she said. “We just knew it wasn’t going to be bad news.” A neighbor also brought homemade cookies.

The powder-purple bungalow was decorated with balloons and welcome-home banners.

Joy was missing from midday Sunday until Tuesday morning when he appeared on a road a couple of miles west of the Sugarloaf Mountain Resort, where he was last seen skiing.

Joy, a fan of survival TV shows, built a snow cave to keep warm and dipped into an icy stream for water, the Globe reported this morning.

Martin Finucane of the Globe staff contributed to this report.
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