Thanks to the heroic moves of a nurse and roommate, Jayden Friesen is alive today and learning how to heal his mind, body, and soul at Adult & Teen Challenge. 

Friesen has been a student at ATC Steinbach for the past eight months. 

"I grew up in a great home and I had loving parents," says Friesen. "Yet I always struggled with the idea of love. I didn't love myself and I didn't see how God or anyone else could love me. I let fear into my life and growing up, I let this fear grow with me."

Friesen says by high school he struggled with his identity and self-worth. 

"I got involved with drugs and alcohol. By the time I graduated, I was fully addicted. I was always running and trying to find a way to fill this hole in my heart."


The Tipping Point

Friesen's parents encouraged him to seek help at ATC but because it was faith-based and long-term, he wanted nothing to do with it. Trying other short-term programs left Friesen even more desperate than before. 

"My lowest point was April this year when I overdosed on Fentanyl."

At the time Friesen lived with a male roommate. His friend was about to go to lunch and felt like he needed to come to talk to Friesen.

When he got to Friesen's door, he found it locked. After knocking on the door with no answer, his roommate bravely kicked down the door to find Friesen unconscious from the overdose. Looking at Friesen, his roommate knew if he didn't do something, Friesen wouldn't make it. So he picked him up, loaded his limp body into the back seat of his car, and took him to Steinbach hospital. 

Friesen battled 13 hours in the hospital through the overdose. He shares that many people who overdose on Fentanyl immediately die or stay alive for two hours before they either get better or die. 

"I woke up in the hospital in the ICU. My liver and kidneys had shut down and I couldn't hear anything."

Because Friesen couldn't hear, his mom wrote on a piece of paper, 'You're so lucky to be alive.'

"I remember looking at that piece of paper and thinking 'no.' At that point, I was just done with life."

The Nurse That Took a Leap of Faith

"In that hospital is where I found my first little ray of hope."

The staff moved Friesen from the ICU down to the second floor. He recalls being in a great deal of pain. 

"It was 2:00 in the morning and I was asking for these hot blankets that the hospital gives out. I had about 15 of them on my stomach already. The nurse bringing them in could see the agony I was in. She grabbed my hand and said, 'Cry out to Jesus. Jesus can save you and Jesus loves you.'"

With tears streaming down his face, Friesen did exactly that. He started praying to God. 

"He started to turn this heart of stone into a heart of flesh. The hospital was the first time I considered going to Adult & Teen Challenge."

Today he is four months away from graduating from the long-term program and can see a bright future for himself.