A patient’s journey at Fairbanks

Recently a client came to Fairbanks suffering from many of the chronic effects of long term opioid use. When she arrived, she was in active opioid withdrawal. She was disheveled and visibly malnourished. Her skin was pale and gray and she had an uncomfortable air of desperation about her.

Having lost her medical insurance due to loss of her job and through no fault of her own, she wasn’t sure how to get help.

The staff at Fairbanks had strong concerns for her safety due to the severity of her withdrawal. They recognized her strong desire to get well, however, and she was admitted for substance use disorder treatment.

During her time on the inpatient unit, she experienced several stressors – she lost her apartment and her adult child was incarcerated. The staff knew these kinds of set-backs were often catastrophic triggers for relapse. But she and the staff remained committed to keeping the focus on her recovery and she participated fully in her treatment.

In a week’s time, her physical presence changed dramatically for the better. Her demeanor changed and she became more outgoing and future oriented. An air of hopefulness replaced her desperation. She reached out to her parents to plan for her release, only to learn that they were unwilling to allow her to live with them. Due to the devastating consequences of her disease on the family relationship, they felt they could no longer be supportive.

Fairbanks’ Supportive Living Program was an option, but without a job or a source of income, the cost of the program was unattainable for her.

Fortunately, donations to the Supportive Living Program provided the support she needed to live near Fairbanks and continue in the next level of care – her partial hospitalization program (PHP). With the help of a treatment team while living in SLP, she found a job and regained her dignity and self-worth. As she grew significantly stronger, she was able to reconnect with her family and began to rebuild trust.

Her time in PHP and IOP (Intensive Outpatient Treatment) was restorative. Following completion of PHP and IOP, in an attempt to plan for aftercare, she was encouraged to reach out again to her family. By this time, her relationships had improved so she could live with a family member. She and her family are now enjoying a full year of her sobriety.

Clearly, without the support of recovery oriented programs such as SLP, PHP and IOP combined with the caring compassion of the Fairbanks staff, her doctor said that it is unlikely the same outcome would be achieved.

Your donations to Fairbanks to help residents of the Midwest move from pain and suffering to joyful and productive lives. Contributions to the Tim Kelly Patient Assistance Fund are vital to clients like the woman mentioned above. Every dollar moves patients toward recovery and a life well lived. Visit https://www.fairbankscd.org/donate/ to learn more and make a contribution today.