Richie was born with loving parents, bright eyes, and a weak heart. After enduring his first heart surgery at six days old, Richie spent most of his first year in the hospital. As he grew, he endured bullying at school, and then, in an incredibly painful blow, when Richie was little, his home burned to the ground and he lost everything. Even his beloved family pets.
A cry for help
Eventually, it all became too much. As Richie grew older, he began to isolate himself. He stopped talking to the people who loved him. And he attempted suicide, twice.
Richie’s parents were desperate to help their son, and they brought him to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, where they recommended Richie continue outpatient therapy at Nexus-Gerard Family Healing.
A ray of hope
After a visit or two with Matthew—a licensed therapist at Nexus-Gerard who specializes in childhood trauma—Richie began to open up and share his thoughts, feelings, and struggles—even the things he’d previously felt too ashamed to share.
Matthew listened, performed trauma therapy, and taught Richie and his parents skills he could use to cope when he was feeling overwhelmed or hopeless.
The change was undeniable.
“Matthew has given us our Richie back,” says Richie’s mom. “He laughs again. He does things with the family without being forced to. He’s fun. He is Richie again.”
The strength to grow
These days, Richie doesn’t see Matthew every week, but when he’s struggling, he asks for an appointment. Best of all, Richie has been able to remain positive, even in the face of ongoing challenges with his heart. He has big hopes for the future, including getting a job, finding a wife, and a vacation to Alaska.
With the support of his family, his therapist, and the Nexus-Gerard team, Richie has found the heart—and the skills—to live life fully.