‘A saved life saved a life’: Men in recovery save man overdosing in Lawrence County

Published: Apr. 30, 2021 at 7:15 PM EDT
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LOUISA, Ky. (WYMT) - The men at the Addiction Recovery Care Lackey House each have their own story of addiction and their own journey of recovery.

“You know, you see people coming in, they’re beaten down and broken. But you get to see the light come back on in people’s eyes,” said Peer Support Specialist Theo Shackleford. “And it is sad that we have walked that way of life, but also what comes with that is a blessing of knowing what to do when a situation does arise. If it does arise.”

Last week, a situation did arise. And their experiences helped two men save the life of a neighbor in their Louisa community after they heard screams coming from a nearby home.

“It was fear,” said Lackey House head intern Timothy Trout. “You know, you can tell when somebody is screaming out of fear.”

Trout and another intern found the source of the yells, seeing a woman on her front porch screaming, “He’s in there.” They went inside, soon finding a man on the bed, unconscious, in what Trout recognized as an overdose situation.

“I can relate to the fear that the mother had screaming on the porch. You know, the ‘I don’t know what to do. I can’t help you,’” said Trout. “I can relate to the guy OD’ed on the bed. Been there too. Not knowing what’s going on, never even knew I died.”

After the men confirmed the overdose, Trout sent the other intern to the ARC facility to bring NARCAN back to the house while they waited for paramedics. He followed his training, checking for signs of life and opening the man’s airway, then administered the NARCAN when the other intern returned with the doses.

“Within about two seconds, he set up and was very incoherent,” Trout said. “Just didn’t know what was going on. But he was back. He was alert and he was breathing.”

He left the house when he heard the EMTs outside.

“I was glad that God put me in this position that I was able to help. I know what was going on,” Trout said. “You know, it’s sad the experiences that I’ve had, but due to those experiences I was able to help somebody.”

Trout said being on the helping side of an overdose was eye-opening and he is thankful for the clarity to make the decisions he did. He said the center being available to people in the community is changing lives and saving lives every day.

“Part of the responsibility of being in recovery is passing on what was so freely given to me,” said Trout. “And now he’s got a chance to seek recovery.”

Though the men said some communities are uneasy when they hear that recovery facilities will be opening in their areas, they hope stories of hope and help will pour out, showing people that you never know who needs the light or life that the centers can provide.

“There’s a silver lining in everything when it happens right in your backyard and you’re able to be of service to not only the community but to somebody that suffers from the disease of addiction. And you never know who it’s going to affect,” said Shackleford. ”A saved life saved a life. And I’m grateful for that today.”

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