After being alone, hopeless, and near death on the streets of Camden, 27-year-old Michael Corsello has begun the process of overcoming addiction to start the path to a better life.
On Oct. 11, Corsello was one of fourteen people who nearly died after overdosing on fentanyl-laced heroin in a four hour time period in Camden, New Jersey.
He spoke with NBC10 as soon as he was released from the hospital that night while holding heroin in his hands and said he planned on using it as soon as he finished the interview. He also desperately wanted to share a message about the toll his addiction had taken on him.
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"I have bald spots in my head," he said while fighting back tears. "I've gotta wear a Mohawk for the rest of my life. I've got scars all over my body because of this drug. I want every kid to understand, if they can stay away from this, I've ruined three families."
Little did Corsello know, his words that night would have an impact. When the founders of Liberation Way Rehabilitation in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania saw our report, they jumped into action.
“It was, ‘Go. How do we find him? Let’s give him an opportunity,’” said Liberation Way Chief Network Officer Michael Armstrong.
Staff members at the alcohol and drug rehab center spent several days trying to track Corsello down. They finally found him at his aunt’s home in Gloucester City, New Jersey where he had walked for an hour from Camden to beg for a shower. It was then that Corsello made a commitment to get clean.
Now on day eight of his medically monitored recovery at Liberation Way, Corsello is set to take his last dosage of detox medicine on Thursday.
“Once again I’m sitting here stuck in my head knowing I'm truly blessed not to be dead,” Corsello wrote in his journal.
As a father of three, Corsello admits to being absent from his kids' lives in the past, and promised himself that he is going to fight to get better.
“The only thing good about addiction is beating it,” he said.
During his recovery, Corsello got the chance to FaceTime with his mother.
“She told me I’m beautiful. It’s so funny to hear her say that, she is so grateful that I’m here,” Corsello said.
Corsello is grateful at his new chance at life, and for once, does not feel alone.
“I have to be reminded I'm safe. I don't have to be in survival mode I have to be in recovery mode,” Corsello said.
After finishing his detox medication, Corsello will start intense group therapy, another major step in his journey.
“I’m so content right now that I actually feel inner peace," Corsello said. "God is good."