Caregivers find long lost family of woman with Down syndrome

MARIETTA, Ga. — A group of caregivers worked tirelessly for months to help one of their beloved patients reconnect with her family.

Martha Joy Cronemiller’s caregivers describe her as an absolutely a joy to be around, but say, sometimes, she would get very sad.

“She would start crying and say, ‘My family doesn’t know where I am,’” nurse Suzanna Holl said.

Martha is a person with Down syndrome. She just turned 80 and lives at Complete Care at Home, a group home in Marietta. She was born in Savannah. She lived with her parents and siblings for much of her life, but they all passed away decades ago.

Still, her caregivers worked for eight months -- checking records, taking to social media and finding her family’s home and final resting place. Finally, they found some living relatives.

“I cried. I think everybody cried. It was overwhelming to finally find her family,” Complete Care’s Raeann Harvey said.

The caregivers located second cousins who live in South Carolina.


“It was sweet. It was ever so sweet that they cared, and they were surprised that we cared,” Holl said.

They recently came to Cobb County for a visit, and now enjoy a weekly chat online.

“The love they show for Martha and her response to them is just wonderful,” cousin Dale Cronemiller said.

Those who work with Martha say finding her family reignited a spark inside her.

“We thought we’d lose Martha last year. As soon as they found her family, it’s like she has a whole new lease on life,” Down Syndrome Association of Atlanta’s Sheryl Arno said.