A Life Saved, Twice

June 18, 2019

ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders patient Vickie Traynum
By: Vickie Traynum

I owe my life to the ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders at Denver Health.

For nearly three years I have struggled with an eating disorder that has brought me to near-death twice. The first time was less than a year ago, when I first came to ACUTE. In December 2018, I returned to ACUTE after allowing myself to get very ill. Health professionals were telling me to get help and my family had been worried for months. I had become so physically deconditioned that I could no longer walk. I was embarrassed to return to ACUTE – afraid I would be seen as a failure. However, when I had nothing left and nowhere else to turn, I arrived by air ambulance to ACUTE.

It was the best decision I could have made.

When I returned to ACUTE, everyone was so kind and compassionate. No one ridiculed or blamed me for returning. They were so glad to see me and so grateful that I was getting the help I needed. The certified nursing assistants, doctors, nurses, therapists and dietitians are amazing! They are respectful, giving and understanding. The staff was flexible and willing to work with me. They took the time to explain things to me without being in a hurry. It’s clear they care about what they are doing and their patients.

The programming at ACUTE is very personalized. Besides the medical stabilization, their physical and occupational therapy staff taught me to walk and care for myself again.

I’ll never forget how the staff cheered me on the first time I took a lap around the unit with a walker.

Honestly, I am ACUTE’s biggest cheerleader. They saved my life twice and they have done it by offering kindness, personalized treatment and grace. I am so very grateful.