(Shared with our Director of Lehigh County, Kristen Irizarry)
Pam* is the mother of a four-year-old son, Stephen.* Stephen* has some physical and intellectual disabilities, including Down’s Syndrome with global development delay, Atrial Septal Defect, and Alopecia, requiring constant care and numerous medical appointments. Also, Pam* was struggling with addiction, and life was becoming unmanageable. Pam* stated:
When I first met Olivia in early April, I was actively using heroin and abusing OxyContin and Xanax. I was two years behind on all of my son’s medical appointments and his medical needs. I wanted and needed help and ongoing support with getting myself and family back on track. With the help of Olivia, we prioritized each issue that needed to be addressed. We immediately made appointments with Stephen’s medical team. All of Stephen’s appointments (pulmonology, cardiology, lab work, sleep study, and hearing test) had been scheduled within one hour. Olivia came to all of the appointments to help me since I can’t read very well. Stephen’s* make-up appointments were caught up in May and June. Next on the priority list was me.
Three months later, in July, Pam* is in recovery. Pam* attends a program three times a week and is a more present parent. She participates in Stephen’s medical care, addressing his needs and voicing concerns. Pam stated that Olivia was the “saving angel who walked into me and my family’s life. “If it weren’t for her, I probably would not be alive. I am extremely grateful.”
JusticeWorks’ Program Director Kristen Irizarry stated, “I was supervising Olivia throughout this family’s involvement with our services. This amazing family had an incredible transformation. I met with the mother in April, and she has completely turned her life around, embracing her recovery. It is quite astonishing. The family followed our “whatever it takes” motto and turned their lives around!”
Pam*, what an incredible story of accomplishment and success! We look forward to hearing more about your family’s achievements moving forward. We also thank Olivia! We are proud to have her as a part of our team!
*Names have been changed.