With so much bad news circulating about overdoses and the opioid epidemic, we were happy to see a major outlet take time out to share some positivity. CNN offered a little inspiration this week, by profiling a formerly addicted mother who has turned her life around and discovered sobriety. Crystal Champ made headlines back in 2017 after a police officer adopted her baby following a drug arrest. Now she is seven months clean and serving as a beacon of hope to others impacted by the crisis.
When cameras first caught Champ last September, she was near death and homeless on the streets of Albuquerque. Dependent on both heroin and crystal meth; she was not only putting her life in danger, she was jeopardizing the survival of her unborn child.
Champ’s story really took off thanks to the heroics of local New Mexico police officer Ryan Holets. Holets became her “guardian angel,” helping to get her into recovery and offering to care for the newborn. Baby Hope was born in October and (true to his word) Officer Holets took her in and is raising her as his own.
In the meantime Champ did go forward with recovery, entering a local treatment facility and getting clean against all odds.
“Crystal was completely hopeless,” recovery rep Kat McLaughlin told CNN. “She was at the deep end of the spectrum. Using the hardest drugs in the most extreme ways. Now I am so proud of her. She left everything in her old life behind, and she’s started completely fresh. Not many people have the strength to do that”
Today, Champ is seven months clean and speaks to the Holets family regularly. She has not yet seen her daughter, but in time plans to stage a full-fledged reunion. Thankfully, little Hope is developing at a healthy pace (which is quite miraculous, when you consider that her mother was shooting up while pregnant).
Crystal openly admits that there is still a long road ahead and she currently resides in sober-living home. But, with a picture of Hope and the Holets family in her bedroom, she is inspired each day to become stronger and healthier.
Holets too, is excited to see Champ make a full recovery.
“I, deep down, kind of wished upon a star that something like this could happen,” he explained. “But this kind of stuff only happens in movies and books with happy endings. Usually, in real life, you don’t see stuff like this.”
You can watch the full story of Crystal’s journey via this CNN clip below…