05/28/2014 03:34 EDT | Updated 07/28/2014 05:59 EDT

Vancouver Island senior found alive after 5-day search

A 65-year-old Vancouver Island man with mild dementia and Parkinson's disease has been found alive after spending five days in the woods near Cumberland.

Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue had suspended their search for Jamie Sproule Monday night, but his family refused to stop looking for him.

Gwen Sproule feared the worst for her husband after he failed to return from a walk near his home in Cumberland on Thursday. Dozens of volunteers kept looking for him yesterday, even after the official search had been called off.

It was family friend Sophie Gilmore, who was combing through some brush 500 metres away from his home on Tuesday afternoon, who found him.

"I saw Jamie and I screamed and he jumped, well his arm jumped and within seconds the group that I was searching with was all there," said Gilmore.

His wife was elated by the news.

"Now this is like a dream, because it's just so hard to believe. It's unbelievable. The other version up until 5 o'clock today was a nightmare!" Gwen Sproule said.

Mike Williamson, the chief of the Cumberland Volunteer Fire Department, said Sproule was taken to hospital and remains there.

"He's doing pretty good for being in the bush five days. He's severely dehydrated and without his medications. He's not talking or anything, but he's breathing fine and he looks fairly good for that condition. I think he's going to be all right," said Williamson.

In a message posted on Facebook, Sproule's daughter Flora called the news her father was found alive "the best birthday present ever."