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Teri Dascher

Teri Dascher has seen a lot in her forty-some years of life, including the face of death. A heroin and cocaine user for decades, Dascher had shrunk to under 100 pounds and had legs so swollen from infection that she could barely walk. "If it weren't for Bailey-Boushay, I don't think I'd be here today."

She was given a clean room, medication, healthy food, and positive support. "Everything is given to you with heart," she says. "They taught me how to take my HIV medications and stressed the importance of taking them on a regular schedule. The nurses are great. They respect you and encourage you." In addition to saving lives, sometimes it's the little things nurses do that really stand out, like telling a person to stand up straight. "I was walking hunched over. I have terrible posture. This nurse said, 'put your shoulders up higher.' I like that kind of constructive criticism. I walk straighter now."

Dascher is lucky. She'll be leaving Residential Care to live on her own, and will come back for Adult Day Health as needed. "My social worker is great. She's helping me get housing. I'm going to do my own bills for the first time in my life. They do their best to get you on your feet, and then you've got to take it from there."

And what about the drug addiction? "I don't think I'll ever use again. The devil had me. But when I came in here, he went away. I was in heaven."

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