Lakiesha Deloatch Story

My name is Tyra Jefferson and I am a Supports Planner at Service Coordination. I would like to take a moment and reflect on an amazing person that I have the pleasure to serve through the Community First Choice (CFC) program. Her name is Lakiesha Deloatch and she lives in Baltimore City. Lakiesha has allowed me to tell her story to Service Coordination, but she did not want to share her picture out of respect for her privacy. This beautiful, young woman was in a terrible place when I first met her in October of 2018. Her pride kept her in such a dark place that she could not see the light that was shining upon her. When I first met Lakiesha in her home, she was very reserved and uncaring about her current situation. As a patient and somewhat private person myself, I understood that I would need to be quiet and listen to her carefully as she talked about her life.

Lakiesha has since opened up to me to discuss her suicide attempts, the loss of all three of her unborn children, and the recent loss of her mother. Lakiesha would not leave her home due to insecurity reasons, which had a great impact on her medical health, and she did not see a doctor for many years. I encouraged her to take one-step at a time to cope and process what was necessary in her life to survive safely and remain in the community. Therefore, she first had to openly address her health issues and make some medical appointments. However, when she finally went to see the doctor, she would not tell the doctor her concerns for fear of being judged and embarrassed. Lakiesha would call me and tell me her concerns and issues she was having medically because she said I made her feel comfortable. I suggested that if she could not talk about her concerns with the doctor, then she should write them down and give the written list to the doctor to reply with recommendations. I am happy to say that this approach worked, and a long overdue biopsy was completed. Lakiesha is still in her forties. Initially, she expressed that she believed she is “too young” to need caregiver services and an Environmental Assessment for her home.

We have developed a trusting relationship and with time, she allowed me to add the home modifications to her plan of service. After gaining her trust, I was able to encourage her to use the services available through the CFC program to possibly prevent falls which she was having in her home. It is the hope that by having a railing installed outside, grab bars installed inside, and a new accessible tub, that this will help Lakiesha stay safe in her home for many years to come. In addition to this, I expressed great concern when she fell down the steps in her home and reminded her that a stair glide could be installed as a CFC service. She allowed a stair glide to be placed in her home to prevent further falls and possible serious injury. Lakiesha has allowed these suggestions to work for her, which in turn has opened up a new view on life thanks to the CFC program.