Jamie struggled with opiates for about 18 years. She got help and used suboxone for about eight years to supplant the opiate addiction, but she relapsed on fentanyl about two years ago.
“I ended up in the hospital on life support in March,” Jamie said. Her brain was swollen and bleeding and she was on a ventilator. Her family staged an intervention in her hospital room. “I agreed to try to get help,” she said. They found Adult & Teen Challenge Ohio Valley, called and arranged for her to go.
“When I was in a coma before I came here, my dad prayed over me,” she said. He referenced the Bible when Saul was blinded on the road to Damascus and when Saul could see again, he saw with new eyes. “That’s kind of what happened to me,” Jamie said. “It was just a complete transformation and surrender basically.” Feeling the presence of the Holy Spirit and having a grateful mind changed it for Jamie, 40, who is from Central Ohio. “Being so sick, definitely broke me down,” she said.
She’ll graduate in March 2023 and is praying about her next steps. Jamie also has four children and a career in property management.
At first Jamie resisted her family’s intervention. Only two people were allowed in her hospital room at a time so the family Facetimed Jamie’s dad who had recently suffered a stroke. “He was really sick and seeing him like that really broke me down,” she said. “I was like fine, I’ll go get help.” But it wasn’t an easy start. While Jamie had gone through withdrawal in the hospital, her liver failed two weeks after she arrived at ATCOV.
When she returned after her hospital stay, Jamie accepted that she was where she needed to be. Her relationship with her parents and other family members improved too. “It’s wonderful. They’re so happy to have their daughter back and I’m so happy to be a part of my family again,” Jamie said.
While she attended church off and on throughout her life, Jamie didn’t have a full understanding of God’s love. “None of that really set in with me until I came here,” she said. Her being broken down, lost, empty and hopeless before coming to the center helped open that for her. Jamie heard from speakers and ATCOV staff that God loves her and it’s what she needed. Compared to before getting clean, Jamie feels free and at peace now.
She endured a lot of trials though. After her liver failed, she was eligible for a transplant. Then she got a pre-cancer diagnosis and her father was diagnosed with cancer. Lightning struck her sister’s home and it burned down. But through all of it, Jamie has felt the presence of the Holy Spirit.
“I just stood firm in my faith and just built it, built up my faith,” Jamie said. When she was using drugs, Jamie derived a false sense of security from getting high. “The presence of the Holy Spirit is, how can I put it? You replace that high with something that’s actually real and ever-present and so comforting,” she said. “It’s kind of something that’s hard to explain, but it’s amazing. It’s the most amazing feeling that you could ever have, the feeling of freedom.”