Sara’s Testimony

My name is Sara Zelyez, I am 33 years old, I have a 3-year-old son, and I drank every single day for 8 years….

On Dec. 12th, 2021 I was admitted to the hospital. About a week prior I found out I had Covid. I was quarantined at the recovery house I lived in. I had money, free time, and the room to myself so I started to drink. After getting a buzz I went to a friend’s house and drank non-stop for 3 days. When I ran out of money I went back to my recovery house. They told me since I had been missing for 3 days I couldn’t stay there and had to leave. With nowhere to go, I decided to go to the hospital. When I got to the hospital I was put in a separate waiting room for Covid patients where they gave me an IV with fluids. While I was waiting I started throwing up blood. Shortly after that, I started pooping blood, a lot of blood, for hours, while I was waiting for a room. When I finally got a bed I showed my nurse the toilet filled with blood. She wanted to scope me immediately. That’s the last thing I remember. I didn’t wake up until Dec. 30th, 2021.

I don’t really know what happened to me other than what I was told. Apparently, I had gastric stomach ulcers that perforated (a hole in the stomach lining from drinking). That’s where all the blood was coming from. Along with the intense bleeding, I was severely detoxing from my bender and Covid was in full force. During the 18 days I was in the ICU I was getting blood transfusions, I had a heart embolism, and multiple seizures. I was on a ventilator, there was fluid in my lungs, they had me in an induced coma, and I lost 40 lbs. I had little flashes of memories but I had no idea what was happening to me. Therefore, I was restrained most of the time. I was delirious and had extremely vivid hallucinations. Actually, the hallucinations were about the only thing I do remember. That’s how I spent my Christmas. 

When all this was happening because of Covid my family was unable to visit me. My son had no idea where his mom was and spent Christmas without me. My mom was completely broken planning for the worst and everyone else was holding their breath. My mom would call the ICU all day hoping for good news. All she could do to feel closer to me was to text my phone and update me on my recovery. 

Christmas was postponed and the entire family’s holiday was grim. After reading all the texts I realized how many people cared about me, and how much they cared. All this time spent drinking; thinking everyone’s life would be so much better and easier without me in it. I wanted to get better but after countless times trying and failing I became hopeless. I was tired of disappointing everyone. I was tired of not being the mom my son deserves. I was tired of everything. I should have died last year in that hospital and God saved me. My purpose has not been fulfilled.

You’d think after all that I would never take a drink again. At first, I was convinced that if I drank I would surely die. I found myself in rehab in April 2022. While in rehab I decided I needed a long-term program and I found out about Grace Centers of Hope. My peer recovery coach and I called the women’s center and spoke to the intake coordinator. I did an interview over the phone and the intake coordinator said I sound like a good fit for their program. I was scheduled to move in on 5/18/22 the day after I got out of rehab. I was so excited! I truly felt like God had brought me there. 

Throughout my time here at GCH I have learned and grown so much! Mrs. Pam C., Pastor, and the staff are amazing. They accommodate every need I have. GCH has given me the opportunity to grow and regain back my self-worth. Here I have become so close to God. I feel God everywhere and see Him working all the time at GCH. All things with God are possible. I know now that my life is more valuable than I have ever could have imagined. My favorite part of GCH is the women’s center, after 8 months you get a job and save money rent-free until you graduate from the program. I am terrible with money and now I have a real chance to start a new life. I plan to go to after-care so I can stay with my Grace family where I feel safe and secure. I thank God every day for saving my life. My faith has become so strong. I surrendered and put my life in his hands. I trust God’s plan for me.

This year for Christmas I have 3! One with my parents, one with my grandma, and one here at Grace! My son will be with me for all 3!! Even though I am not working, GCH has made it possible for me to bring presents home to my son. The holidays here are amazing. I actually like Christmas music this year lol. For the first time, I am setting goals for the future and looking forward to reaching them. All the trials and tribulations have brought me here to Grace Centers of Hope and I am SO grateful for that!