Ayla’s Story

My name is Angela Sanford and I would like to share my story and testimony of how Legacy Freedom Treatment Centers have had a tremendous impact on my life, and most importantly, the life of my daughter and grandkids.

From the time that I was a preteen, I had dreamed of having three children. It was my heart’s desire to have a blonde-haired, little girl named Ayla. Fast forward a few years, and my dreams came true! I had three children, one of which was a daughter with blonde hair. We named her Ayla. She was full of energy. She loved life and was an active child. We had a close relationship, just as I did with all of my children. As a preteen, Ayla was your typical child. We were the family next door. Or so I thought.contact-us-button

In 2012 at the age of 22, I began seeing red flags. I watched as her choices and friends changed. I also began noticing that Ayla was pulling away from her family. Not only did her lifestyle change, so did her weight. In a matter of months, my daughter went from weighing 135 pounds to less than 90 pounds. Her skin was no longer vibrant and her eyes were dark and empty. Ayla’s appearance and mood changed greatly. Her appearance reflected the fact that she no longer cared for herself.

Ayla was no longer able to care for her children, so they were removed from her custody. After she lost her children, Ayla’s decline progressed rapidly. She had no interest in life. I saw signs of physical and emotional abuse. It was the most helpless feeling I've known.

Ayla expressed that she felt as though no one loved her. My “heart’s desire” felt as though no one loved her! That was hard to hear and even harder to realize this is how my baby felt. It was devastating.

She was consistently hiding from law enforcement and eventually spent some time in jail. My beautiful, blonde-haired daughter was addicted to methamphetamine. I began fighting for my daughter's life once I understood what was going on. I fought with every step, every breath, and every thought that was within me. With the help of friends, my amazing church family, and my community; we began a grassroots effort to stop drug use in our community. Maybe if we stop drug use for others it would somehow impact my daughter as well.

I formed Run Against Addiction. We began orchestrating a 5K Run for our community. We wanted to raise awareness around drug activity in our community. Brad Wilkerson of Legacy Freedom Treatment Centers learned of Run Against Addiction and asked how he could help. Boy, what perfect timing! My beautiful daughter was in jail and hopeless. I didn't know what to do, but I was willing to fight for her regardless of what that meant.

Legacy Freedom Treatment Centers began helping my family to understand how to handle Ayla’s addiction. We started to learn how we could help her. Brad told me, “It’s gonna be okay.” Boy, did I need that reassurance! At this time, Ayla began running from her responsibilities and fighting back. Eventually, she was arrested again and served more time in jail. It was during this last incarceration that Ayla finally received her wake up call. She finally realized she had lost her children, her home, and lastly her freedom.

During her incarceration, Ayla saw her children from behind the glass window during visitation hours. She couldn’t hug them, touch them, or wipe their tears. She could only see them from behind a glass. Finally, my daughter admitted she needed and wanted help.

Thank heavens for Legacy Freedom Treatment Centers! She learned to trust their staff and the reality of the situation had created a turning point in her life. Once released from jail, she was admitted and enrolled in a 90-day outpatient program. Ayla began attending and participating in group therapy, one-on-one counseling, sound therapy, yoga, tai-chi, acupuncture, and began receiving treatments in the form of holistic medicine.

Almost immediately I noticed my daughter was coming back! I watched her self esteem skyrocket! My Ayla could start to look at herself and figure out who she wanted to become. Ayla was strong, purposeful, and confident for the first time in a very long time. She began rebuilding relationships that had been destroyed by her addiction to methamphetamine.

Ayla began working off her probation requirements. She’s working towards her high school diploma and has plans to attend college to become a CNA. She’s even started saving for her own vehicle.contact-us-button

She works at sobriety daily and has already been able to remove herself from several tempting situations! For the first time in her life, Ayla is now standing on her own two feet providing for herself and children. She’s again living with her children and is proving herself to be a great mother! Ayla has been clean for more than eight months. This Thanksgiving is a special one for our family. Not only will be giving thanks to God for Ayla and her safe return to health, but we will be giving thanks for Legacy Freedom Treatment Centers. There are not enough words to express how grateful I am to have my daughter back. My beautiful daughter is happy and is determined to show the world what you can be if you put your mind to it. Thank you Legacy!

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Read The Daily Courier's press release.

11 Responses

  1. Thank God she's OK and doing well! I have a problem with my daughter and son n law. I just want to focus on her right now but the doctor has gotten my daughter on methadone which is just as BAD! She lost her kids 2 boys 8 and 10 and she's 33. I have tried to talk to her she has been to jail no home no licences! What should I do now? Iim scared I'm going to get a call and tell me she has over dosed!! When she runs out of medication from doctor she will go get herion. Her husband signed all rights away for the kids and they use to go everywhere together!! Can't believe this monkey on her back! Don't know what else to do already talked to doctor he won't listen to me! Can anyone Help? Thanks..... Lisa
    • Legacy Freedom
      Please give us a call and we'll help you in any way we can.
  2. I am addicted to crack cocaine & need help. Im so ashamed. & I'm tormented daily.
    • Legacy Freedom
      We understand where you're coming from. Please call our hotline and we'll do everything we can to help.
    • Crack cocaine and alcohol were also my drug of choice as of February 11th 2017 I will have 5 years of sobriety you may get in touch
  3. This story brought me to teArs I dealt with addiction when I went to college from about 18-21 then finally found an amazing church family that I have been with for almost a year now and I have been clean for 3 years from alcohol abd cigarettes I have an amazing almost 14 month old and a awesome boyfriend. ! But addiction needs so much attention
  4. I've been in a gay relationship for more than 10 yrs.he is addicted almost everything He just started using meth a few months ago. This has made him so.paranoid about.everything during the years he has gone from crack to.pills to shooting herion He was in treatment 2 weeks The day he got.out he went straight to ice ,meth, crack ,anything He could get.he's now on a half way house trying to get clean.he's convinced several times but it only lasts a short time each time He.is a veteran. Of the gulf war, he has major depression, PTSD bipolar and he feels that he always. Should help people in need .that EVERY single time has been a disaster for both.of us.we've just lost a brand new house just finished in July.all circles of drug addicts know when he gets paid twice a month His money lasts a very short time Then they come around only when he finds a dealer that will give him credit. He bought a 2015/Chevy truck. That the drug dealer gave h crack to use and it's trashed on the inside dentef scratched and a big.hole in the front bumper I m 67 he's 49 am I the crazy one
  5. I need help to
  6. Bless her heart I'm so glad to hear she got her life back, thank god for the programm, wish you all the luck in the world for you and your kids, GOD BLESS YOU ALL!!!
  7. I used to have a horrible addiction to cocaine, and this June 6th will be my 15th year anniversary clean free. It was by NO MEANS easy, but with the love and support of my mom, husband, friends and family . I sit here now waiting to celebrate my 15th anniversary, I do at time have that urge, but I then look at my two beautiful girls and realize there is NOTHING in this universe that could ever make me go down that dark road again. To those trying to fight, keep fighting you all CAN DO IT!!!
  8. I want to congratulate Ayla from the bottom of my heart. I'm a recovering drug addict so I understand the things she went through and what we put our families through. I just thank the God of my understanding for his favor, grace, and mercy because I had no desire to get clean. My plan was to die an addict. I'm 44 years old with almost 4 years clean on April 25,2016 and is an employee of the treatment center I graduated from. I wish all addicts can get this and experience this new way of living. My motto is No matter what I must not use. Stay away from people, places, and things. God bless and keep reaching for the stars Ayla. Love you my sister.

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