Delaney Farrell’s poem about addiction continues to have far-reaching, nationwide impact
Bridget’s daughter, 23-year-old Delaney Farrell, died on July 1 following a drug overdose in the Williamsport area. Bridget will share Delaney’s story with national health care leaders during an Opioid Symposium hosted by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, December 6. The symposium, including Bridget’s remarks, will be live-streamed. Follow this link for the live stream. Bridget is expected to speak around 9:15 a.m.
A big part of Delaney’s story and Bridget’s motivation to advocate for drug addition treatment changes is the obituary Bridget wrote. It included a poem Delaney penned, sharing her stuggles with addiction. The obituary went viral across several social media channels, and continues to have an impact months after her death.
Delaney first posted her prose on Facebook, and received an unbelievable response, her mother said. When it came time to write Delaney’s obituary, Bridget decided to include the poem.
“Part of me was afraid of how we would be perceived, but it was so powerful I wanted the world to see it,” Bridget said. “This is what our kids are going through these days. It’s a very sad, tragic situation.”
Bridget said she wants others to understand the struggles Delaney and her family experienced, and to break misconceptions about how drug addiction impacts lives.
Putting a face on the crisis is what Bridget has been doing since her daughter’s death. Delaney struggled for years with addiction, and was in and out of treatment.
“I have difficulty expressing it myself, her personal story, the pain and the struggle that she went through. I want to tell it through the poem,” Bridget said.
Bridget, a post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) nurse at Geisinger Medical Center, says she continues to receive messages from people all over the country as her daughter’s poem continues to be shared on social media.
“If we can do something to stop, then that’s what I want to do, to help other families not to go through what we went through,” Bridget said.
Geisinger was invited to the symposium to share what the system has been doing to reduce opioid prescriptions. Since 2014, Geisinger’s emergency departments, physician offices and community practice clinics have reduced opioid prescriptions in nearly half.
Sharing her thoughts about being sick of being an addict and hoping she could get through it, Delaney’s poem is posted below.
Funny, I don’t remember no good dope days.
I remember walking for miles in a dope fiend haze.
I remember sleeping in houses that had no electric.
I remember being called a junkie, but I couldn’t accept it.
I remember hanging out in abandos that were empty and dark.
I remember shooting up in the bathroom and falling out at the park.
I remember nodding out in front of my sisters kid.
I remember not remembering half of the things that I did.
I remember the dope man’s time frame, just ten more minutes.
I remember those days being so sick that I just wanted to end it.
I remember the birthdays and holiday celebrations.
All the things I missed during my incarceration.
I remember overdosing on my bedroom floor.
I remember my sisters cry and my dad having to break down the door.
I remember the look on his face when I opened my eyes, thinking today was the day that his baby had died.
I remember blaming myself when my mom decided to leave.
I remember the guilt I felt in my chest making it hard to breathe.
I remember caring so much but not knowing how to show it.
And I know to this day that she probably don’t even know it.
I remember feeling like I lost all hope.
I remember giving up my body for the next bag of dope.
I remember only causing pain, destruction and harm.
I remember the track marks the needles left on my arm.
I remember watching the slow break up of my home.
I remember thinking my family would be better off if I just left them alone.
I remember looking in the mirror at my sickly completion.
I remember not recognizing myself in my own Damn reflection.
I remember constantly obsessing over my next score but what I remember most is getting down on my knees and asking God to save me cuz I don’t want to do this no more !!!
One of the nation’s most innovative health services organizations, Geisinger serves more than 1.5 million patients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The system includes 13 hospital campuses, a nearly 600,000-member health plan, two research centers and the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. Geisinger is known for its focus on caring and innovative programs including the ProvenCare® best-practice approach to maximize quality, safety and value; ProvenHealth Navigator® advanced medical home; Springboard Health® population health program to improve the health of an entire community; ProvenExperience™ to provide refunds to patients unhappy with their care experience; and Geisinger’s MyCode® Community Health Initiative, the largest healthcare system-based precision health project in the world. With more than 215,000 volunteer participants enrolled, MyCode is conducting extensive research and returning medically actionable results to participants. A physician-led organization, with approximately 32,000 employees and more than 1,800 employed physicians, Geisinger leverages an estimated $12.7 billion positive annual impact on the Pennsylvania and New Jersey economies. Repeatedly recognized nationally for integration, quality and service, Geisinger has a long-standing commitment to patient care, medical education, research and community service. For more information, visit www.geisinger.org, or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.
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