On the Long Road to Recovery

Dwane’s struggles with alcohol had lasted a lifetime. He began drinking at age 16, was in and out of prison due to multiple DUIs, went to court-mandated rehab numerous times but kept returning to the same habits and patterns.

He also experienced various health complications related to the alcoholism, including atrial fibrillation and a heart attack in 2009. In 2015 Dwane was back in the hospital, and because he had no insurance, the hospital referred him to Exalta Health where he met staff physician, Dr. Chris Shoemaker. Dwane was out of shape, dealing with persistent back pain and still struggling with alcohol.

That changed when he received his eighth DUI last April and then, 25 days into his sentence, he said he “surrendered to God” and began a sobriety journey that has stuck. He’s lost weight and feels healthy. And he so excelled at his community service work that he continued volunteering there after his court-mandated hours and then was asked by the director to be a manager.

Meeting Chris, Dwane said, was the beginning of a healing process that included body and soul. In Chris, Dwane finally had a personal doctor for the first time in his life. When Dwane looks back on that first referral to Exalta Health, he is resolute about why it happened.

“Meeting Dr. Shoemaker wasn’t a fluke,” he said. “This place – the staff, the volunteers, the caring, the way they help people – I see that every time I walk into Exalta Health.” Dwane added something else: “I never had God in my life.”

That changed at Exalta Health, Dwane said, where he received compassionate, accessible healthcare, motivated by a belief in the healing power of Jesus.