Rachel Vaughn Loving Rachel

First post: Jul 12, 2020 Latest post: Aug 19, 2020
Welcome to our “Loving Rachel” website and thank you for visiting! I am Rachel’s mom, Gabie, and I will do my best to tell her story briefly.

People who know Rachel, have watched her grow up, and care about her have described her as sweet, loving, bright, and caring. To me she is my fist baby, my precious little girl, and my most challenging child, who is now adult and in crisis. Rachel told me a couple of years ago that she was using methamphetamines, but refused to seek medical help. Since then she has become increasingly angry, confused, and paranoid, tellIng us about things that can only be hallucinations or delusions, but which she believes to be real and true more than anything anyone could tell her. On June 3rd, Rachel disappeared from the house she was living in with a friend. The friend called me on June 15 and thanks to local police, her neighbors and friends, I found her in a neighboring town in an abandoned barn with a couple of others. She was resistant to talk to me, and so, so skinny. She did not know where she was or how she had gotten there, but she didn’t want to leave and didn’t want anything from me. Eventually I had to head back home. On July 4, I returned to the barn and was told she had been kicked out. Sara and I went door to door, contact to contact, and tracked her down again. This time the people she was with talked her into getting into my car. After getting some food in her, she reluctantly agreed to go home with me for a shower and then to the hospital.

She walked into Arlington Memorial Hospital (AMH), but couldn’t tell them her last name or DOB. She let me come in with her to help her answer questions. She said she wanted help because she had memory loss and severe headaches. Her MRI showed some irregularities in the frontal lobe of her brain. The hospital admitted her and started tests that stretched out for the next three days trying to determine the cause of the damage. Possible causes are Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, or Lyme Disease, stroke, or head trauma. During her stay she could not remember day to day why she was there, conversations with doctors, nurses, or even me. On July 7, at the advice of her Aunt Julie, Rachel requested a Mental Health Assessment and they did it that same day, qualifying her to receive long-term residential rehab, but not inpatient psych care. We found out later that they would only admit her for this rehab if she could come up with $20,000 or health insurance. She was discharged on July 8, without receiving a diagnosis or even all of the test results. The best they could say is that “The damage in her brain was most likely caused by a stroke due to substance abuse or possibly head trauma. It is not repairable or treatable, though with time the neural pathways can regenerate and might restore full use of her brain.” We do not know whether her current symptoms are due to the drugs currently in her body, the withdrawal she is experiencing, the lesions and scarring in her brain, or a mental health disorder.

I was unable to find help for her following her discharge. Shelters were full or required her to be drug free. Rehab facilities were full or required photo ID. Rachel’s sister and brother agreed to let her sleep on their couch while we continue trying to find a more permanent option for her. She is currently enjoying being with her family, though she is suffering greatly from headaches, stomach pain, and continued sporadic memory loss and confusion.

I received a call from neurologist Dr Connor at AMH on July 9 reporting that all test results had now been received and she does not have Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, or Lyme Disease.

Current action plan:
1. Continued efforts to obtain placement in a rehab facility that is equipped to help Rachel with her memory loss, withdrawal, and mental instability.
2. She has an appointment in August to enroll in Tarrant County’s Community Health Program.

Huge thanks to all of our friends and family members, and even strangers, who are reaching out to help with prayers, messages of love and support, and of course advice and ideas that we can use in our efforts to get our beautiful girl healthy and happy again!