A Journey to Sobriety with Chester A. Ray Center

In the realm of recovery, stories of transformation often emerge from the shadows of adversity. Among these transformations is the journey of an individual we’ll call Jason, a name chosen to protect his privacy while sharing his story. From the grips of alcoholism to the stark reality of cirrhosis, Jason found himself at a crossroads, seeking solace and support at the Chester A. Ray Center. His experience reflects not only personal growth but also the importance of community and guidance in navigating life’s toughest challenges. Join us as we explore Jason’s path to recovery, a testament to resilience and the power of compassionate care. 

From Jason, Chester Ray client, April 2023

“Hello, my name is Jason. I’ve had a very long career with alcohol. My battle finally, and thankfully, brought me to the Chester A. Ray Center.  

When I decided to go to Chester Ray, first I went to detox. The detox center said I was close to death, that I needed treatment they could not provide. Subsequently, I spent the next 5 weeks in Spectrum Health ICU and a physical therapy facility before arriving at Chester Ray.   

It was discovered while I was at Spectrum Health that I had Cirrhosis of the liver, and end stage liver disease. There is a set of criteria that specialists use to determine the patient’s prognosis of life expectancy. It is called MELD – Model for End stage Liver Disease. The scores are numerical and go from 0 to 50, 50 being impending death. When I arrived at Chester Ray, my score was a 26. I was told I had to prepare for a 3-to-6-month slow deterioration leading to death. I was told a transplant is the only option if my MELD number doesn’t go down.  

Chester Ray has made all accommodations for my disease. They have ordered a specific diet regiment that was prescribed by my specialist. I take numerous medications that they help me keep organized. They encourage and enable my physical therapy goals. 

When I arrived at Chester Ray on January 23rd, I was malnourished, very weak, and not able to walk without assistance. I have been alcohol free since December 5th; today is the 12th of April. My MELD score is now 16. My prognosis for life is now measured in years, not months. I am able to live a normal life and enjoy my family, which was a terrifying thing to possibly have taken away. 

I will continue with my sobriety for the rest of my life with the tools and spirituality that I have gained here.