My name is Brandon, and my mother's name is Sandy. We live in South Bend, Indiana with my brother. My brother, Jaden, has battled chronic depression for years and had been diagnosed with severe PTSD from trauma. After years of battling his depression, trying counseling for treatment, and taking numerous medications my brother openly stated he no longer wanted to live and was tired of trying to survive. My mother and I immediately began to look for the best mental health facilities the United States had to offer. My brother couldn't die on us. Finally, a local physician contacted us after hearing of our struggle and suggested we look at Newport Academy, a mental health rehab facility in Orange County, California. After doing our research and being approved long term care through our insurance, my brother was accepted into Newport Academy. For the first time in years it felt like as a family we could breathe. My brother would have to travel across the country and my mother and mine savings would be depleted, but it was a small price to pay to keep my brother's, my best friend's, heart beating for a little while longer. As a week turned to three, and the holiday season came and went without my brother, my mom and I could rest easier knowing he was getting well. On Christmas we had a family zoom call where we got to talk for 20 minutes. My brother was so excited about the friends he had met who were healing just like him. For the first time in years the smile that was on his face wasn't a facade. It was real. My brother was changing for the better. I knew everything was going to be ok. Then, two weeks later, last Wednesday, we get the phone call. After a month of being in this intensive mental health facility, our insurance company was bucking. They would no longer pay to have my brother at Newport Academy. According to the insurance company, my brother could get equal or better treatment at home over zoom from 9 am to 1 pm. According to the insurance company, my brother was well enough to be at home and no longer needed an in person treatment facility. According to the insurance company, I guess the few extra dollars they could save and not pay out for my brother's mental health care was worth it. So in two days, last Friday, my mom and I flew to Orange County and brought my brother home. My brother tried to remain positive. Over the weekend he reaffirmed that the care he received at Newport was worth it. We were all scared. We knew he needed more time at Newport. The doctors at Newport knew he needed more time and had wanted him to stay at least 90 days. The insurance company didn't care. For them it was sufficient that my brother had an outpatient therapy zoom call scheduled for Wednesday of this week that would only last three hours. We knew it would be hard having my brother home, but we were all prepared to take the necessary steps to help him recover and heal even more. That was the plan. What you don't learn in school about planning is plans are easy to follow during the good times. Plans are easily accomplished and goals are easily reached. However, all the planning in the world can't prepare you for the bad times. Last night, this morning at 3 am, was a bad time. Plans went out the window as my brother faced personal battles, and he struggled with thoughts that he wasn't good enough. While my mom and I were in bed asleep, my brother struggled with thoughts that he was a burden on us. At 3 am my brother drank a full bottle of Promethazine with Codeine. In small doses, this medicine is meant to help those with a cough or flu sleep through the night so that they may heal. When the whole bottle is drunk in under 30 seconds the medicine becomes deadly. My brother spent the next nine hours fighting for his life at our local emergency room. My mother and I followed the ambulance and stayed by his side the whole time. We are teachers, and fortunately for us sick days are provided for times like these. Because of Covid-19 protocols, my mother and I took turns in the ER watching over my brother's body. We lamented as we watched the heavy breathes that he took. After what seemed like an eternity, my brother finally passed the eight hour mark known as the danger zone after trying to take his own life. Immediately he was transported to the local psychiatric ward, where he has to stay for the next 72 hours. My mom and I are pulling all our resources together. Everything is going to save my brother. The insurance will not pay for my brother to be in Newport any longer. We know that is where he needs to be. Thankfully, Newport is giving us the discounted cash price rate of $1,800 a day. As a teacher, I make $2,200 a month before taxes. That's one day in this facility. I don't like to ask for money or help, but this isn't for me. This is for my brother, and for his life I am not too proud to beg. My mother and I are doing everything in our power to get my brother back to this mental health facility for treatment. The $55,000 is enough for one month of care. If we have to do month by month and sell everything we own, we will. No price is too high for my brother's life. Please help us. Every dollar helps. Please share this cause and help get my brother better. I can't live without my best friend. This is life or death. Thank you.
Jaden's suicide note that I found this morning:
Over the last several weeks, I have battled against demons that were insurmountable; I thought that I could defeat them with the right treatment, but things aren’t that black-and-white. I can’t go on like this any longer; I feel hopeless and too far gone. I don’t want to be a burden on you any longer. Whatever awaits after this finite life, I hope that we can be reunited one day in the distant future. I’m eternally grateful for everything that you’ve done for me; especially, while I’ve been on the road to recovery. You have tried your best and I know this. Please, don’t feel like you have failed or that you could’ve tried harder. I was beyond the point of return and no amount of love could repair this broken soul. I love you both to the moon and back and all the way around the world until we get back home. Please, don’t dwell on the past, look ahead and know that I’m finally at peace. I will always be with you in spirit. Blessings, Jaden