Getting your life back on track after many years of substance abuse is never easy. Every recovered addict knows that the road to recovery is bumpy and long, but the truth is that everyone can recover. All they need is an effective treatment, support, and a safe environment. One of these success stories last year was shared by Macy Boatright, who has overcome heroin addiction. Around two years ago, the young woman finally convinced herself to seek help. She was homeless, hadn’t eaten in a week or so, had no shoes, and had an abscess in her arm from using a dirty needle. She gathered all her courage and after calling her grandmother asking for help, Macy started her detox journey.

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Macy woman shared the story of taking the first steps to get herself better with her Facebook friends, along with the surprising comparison photos: one taken right outside the hospital before she started treatment and the second one showing how she looks now.

Macy who is 28-years-old right now told Bored Panda that her struggle with addiction started when she was 16. “It really all started with alcohol and weed at 16. I was in a really emotionally abusive relationship for 7 years and when I finally left him I settled with another guy who treated me great but had a pill problem. Within a month I was also doing pills. I eventually moved on to heroin and crack after that,” she said.

When she got addicted, her whole life has changed. “It affected everything. I would do anything just to get that next high and then eventually it wasn’t to get high anymore. I was doing anything to escape the withdrawals I felt when I ran out. I lost my house, my kids. I became homeless and living in a tent and prostituted myself out for money. I wouldn’t sleep for weeks at a time. I put myself in situations that were very dangerous. I didn’t care if I lived or died anymore. I just was always chasing that next fix. I put drugs over my life, my kids, my family, everything.” Luckily she found the strength to seek help.  “I finally decided to go to detox when I hit my rock bottom. I had just been beaten up and raped and left for dead. I went to my boyfriend and he knocked me out for coming back without drugs and I woke up in the woods completely alone and broken. I decided I didn’t want to live anymore. I filled a syringe with enough heroin to kill 3 grown men but when I stuck it in my arm it all spilled out in the sand. I screamed for God to help me and I heard Him tell me to get up and that He was with me. I walked to an outreach down the street and they drove me to the hospital, she said.

During the time Macy was homeless and using drugs, she had plenty of visits to the hospital. What stood out the most from those visits was a nurse named Ali Fares. There was one thing that separated him from all of the other nurses that treated Macy.  “Ali Fares knew me very well by then. He had treated me countless times for abscesses in my arm and was the first person I saw when I woke up from an overdose a couple of months back. He never treated me badly. He was always very caring and just treated me like a person that just needed help. This time when I went to the hospital he was there and saw my name on the board in the ER and remembers me. He came into my room and gave me a hug and wished me luck on my journey to rehab.” Ali’s kindness and compassion had a lasting effect on Macy.

According to her, Ali was the only one who showed sympathy and kindness to her when she desperately needed it. The man held her hand and comforted her when she was crying and felt completely hopeless.  “Ali made me feel like a person when most people liked right through me or treated me like I was worthless. He didn’t. He treated me just like you would anyone that didn’t have a drug problem. It made me feel good to know that I wasn’t worthless and I deserved help just like everyone else.,” she told us.

After she got better, Macy decided to find Ali and thank him for saving her life. The post she wrote to celebrate his work has gone viral and gathered over 63k likes and praises from people living all over the world. Macy said that they still keep in touch. “We talk occasionally. And that post has been a reminder to both of us that being kind is sometimes all it takes to give someone the courage and hope they need to make a change. “