September 2, 2022
Cammie Wolf Rice on the popular Discover Your Talent, Love What You Do Podcast – Tragedy Turned Into Purpose
“Unfortunately, it was tragedy turned into purpose. In high school, my son was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, which is a colon disease. He was an overachiever and held everything in his gut. His senior year in high school, the doctor informed me that his colon needed to come out. Christopher was an AP student. He had goals to be a Navy seal. A really disciplined kid. He ended up having complications in the surgery and we went home from the hospital with 90 Oxycontins. Purdue Pharma had released the wonder drug Oxycontin to relieve all pain. I was told to give them to him every four hours, which I did. I didn’t even think about questioning what the doctor told me to do. Then my son had to keep having different surgeries, which put him back on the Oxycontin each time. And ultimately, he fought addiction the second half of his life. We had every resource to help him, but I still could not save my son’s life. We lost him February 26th, 2016, at 32-years-old. That is the whole reason I do what I do today to save other mothers and fathers. What’s staggering is, since my son’s passing, there have been over 300,000 people who have died in this country due to Oxycontin. Right now we should be screaming to the rooftops to bring awareness and education to parents and to youth. Saying no to drugs didn’t work. And that’s really what the Christopher Wolf Crusade is all about. I launched the charity in 2018. When you lose a child, there are no words for it because it is out of the natural order of life. They say the sixth stage of grief is finding purpose. I think I went straight to stage six. The only way I know how to describe it is there was a fire inside of me. I had to save other mothers and fathers from going through what I’m going through. If I looked at it deep enough, I felt like there’s a missing position in our healthcare system. It’s something that Christopher didn’t have and that I did not have as his caretaker. We have coaches for everything else in our lives, But when you’re in a health crisis, in a hospital, where’s your coach? There’s no coach. So, I’ve had a clinical trial for the past 2 years going on at Grady Hospital in Atlanta, the third largest trauma hospital in the country. We developed a Life Care Specialist as the position is to educate the patient and the parents on the dangers of those medications and how fast you need to taper off. And we provide non-pharmaceutical solutions to pain. In addition, we provide mental wellness techniques. My team and I are all certified instructors with the Trauma Resource Institute, and we teach skills at the patient bedside on how to address and manage your pain.”
Cammie Wolf Rice is a mother, an advocate, an author and an agent for change. She has personal experience dealing with the dangers of opioid misuse through her own son’s battle from childhood through his passing at 32. Cammie has transferred her pain into purpose. She has made it her mission to raise awareness about the opioid epidemic and alternative pain management strategies.