Patricia’s Story: Creating Hope After Experiencing Despair


In 2012, when Patricia Williams became disabled, she found herself feeling worthless and depressed. Having grown up in West Helena, Arkansas,  she moved to Minnesota in 1975. Because of her disability, Patricia had to resign from her position at a health care facility and constantly felt horrible that she was no longer able to help those in her life that she had been supporting. She isolated herself from her family and friends, as she would have accidents involving incontinence and felt embarrassed about what had happened to her. Patricia quickly became more and more discouraged as time passed, and she didn’t see her life ever improving.

But then, as she said, “I felt like an angel came to me, by the name of Lucas.” Lucas was her new case manager from Accord — Patricia’s life and happiness were about to change, and she was reluctantly open to it. Lucas went above and beyond his job title, which surprised Patricia. She was able to create a relationship built on trust and communication; she stated that Lucas was interested in helping her and maintained a process that factored in Patricia’s overall wellbeing.

This attention and genuine care continued to be present throughout her journey with Accord. She completed the assessment with another Accord staffer and began to open up and feel hope again. The foundation and support that Accord gave Patricia, allowed her to feel comfortable and safe; which led to her slowly chipping away at the walls of isolation and depression she had trapped herself within.

Lucas and other Accord staff lifted Patricia up, reminding her that she was somebody, and no matter how much shame she felt, her needs and wants were important. Patricia knows that her life has changed: because her disability is a part of her forever, and she has the skills to accept that having a disability isn’t horrible and the potential to grow isn’t as impossible as she used to think. Patricia has a team that comes to her home and gives her the amount of help that she requested and needs. Although it was scary, Patricia accepted that she was still in charge of her life. She remains thankful of her family and Accord.

She was able to return to her hobbies and things that she enjoys: spending time in the outdoors gardening, monitoring and caring for kids, and attending her local church and related activities. Accord made it possible for her to restart her old passions without guilt or doubt.

With absolute sincerity, Patricia shared that even if they start off as strangers, if they have care and concern for you, it can still cause a significant change in how someone approaches life and the value of mental and physical health.

Although Patricia has been able to pull herself out of her inner darkness, it doesn’t change the fact that she will experience the challenge of 24/7/365 pain. She can live a more peaceful life knowing that she has support from Accord and her family.

Patricia’s energy is vivacious and friendly; the passion that she shows while talking about her Accord staff members and the life she can now lead, was energetic and hopeful. Those emotions are something that had faded, and she didn’t believe would ever return.