A bit over three years ago, I started serving as a driver at Recovery Centers of America (RCA) in Devon, Pennsylvania. We have an internal email system that provides drivers with information on where and when we are to be picking a Substance Use Disorder patient up to bring them in for detox and rehab services.
A bit under two years ago, I was getting to know an intelligent woman who, while still struggling with her substance issues, demonstrated her incredible qualities as a human being and friend. She greatly appreciated having a platonic male friend in her life.
She very much wanted detox and rehab. Just like the other estimated 2,000 people who live on the streets of Kensington (She did not live on the streets as we were becoming acquainted.), she was reliant on Medicaid for payment of professional services for detox and rehab.
I've written about her in my blog series with her permission under the blog name 'Dakota.' She even helped me write the blogs about herself. She wanted her story to be told in this anonymous way.
Each time I am done with an RCA transport in which I have brought a new patient into our facility, I sign off from that email chain of communication with"
"We are back at RCA Devon. All went well. Thank you for being at the door. J"
I would then send a quick text to 'Dakota' telling her that I was back in Devon.
Now here's the fun part…
'Dakota's' real name was "Devon."
Oh my God… I just said 'was'.
I would text her each time and say
"I am back in Devon, Devon. J"
This past week, Devon found her 'ready moment.' She hit that proverbial 'rock bottom' place and reached out for emergency care.
Devon died of medical complications secondary to active drug use this past Saturday morning, January 8, 2022. She was a Medicaid-reliant patient with Substance Use Disorder.
As a tribute to my dearly beloved friend, I will be changing my email chain sign off which fits the need very well.
Whenever I complete a transport and all has gone well and someone has been at the door to greet us, I will be signing off with