The Power of Support
- A 22-year-old Texas student, Jacqueline Durand, is left incomprehensibly disfigured after suffering 800 dog bites from two rescue dogs she was watching.
- As she navigates a future of reconstructive surgeries from nearly losing her entire face, she is grateful for her boyfriend Nathan, 24, who says he’s standing by her side after she helped him through a recent battle of his own when he went through cancer.
- Support is crucial after cancer or another life-changing medical trauma. Social workers help with a variety of issues that arise with cancer treatment or other medical issues.
The supportive partner of three years told CBS via Instagram Live that the gruesome attack “has grown us even closerl”Read More
“I was skeptical if he was going to stay with me,” she told CBS reporter David Begnaud. “I asked him straight up, “Do you still want to be with me,? I’ve changed forever,”, and he said “I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”
The pair met while working at PetCo pet store in Dallas. When Nathan was diagnosed with cancer, their bond intensified.
“I’m so grateful that I get the same opportunity to show the same level of love and care that she showed me during that time,” Nathan continued. “I’m glad that I get the chance to.”
Jacqueline is understandably devastated that the dogs’ owners have not reached out, but the Bishops told CBS it was due to legal reasons. “I wanted to hear from them,” Jacqueline said. “It just kind of breaks my heart that they didn’t reach out.” The dogs were put down following the brutal attack.
The Bishops told CBS News that they were “heartbroken” over what happened to Jacqueline. “We know that she was injured severely, and are devastated by what she and her family are going through. We would never knowingly put anyone in harm’s way, and were shocked by what happened at our home.”
Jacqueline is booked for back-to-back reconstructive surgeries in the coming weeks on her nose and eyes, and is remaining hopeful that her appearance can be restored. She is seeing therapists due to the trauma of the incident.
The lawsuit is pending and alleges that the Bishops knew of the dogs’ violent nature and even had a “crazy dogs” warning sign on their door, asking visitors to call or text instead of knocking or ringing the bell.
“Jacqueline will forever measure her life in terms of before and after opening that door,” her attorney, Chip Brooker told the news outlet. “She will be permanently disfigured for the rest of her life, and we filed this lawsuit to make sure all the responsible parties are held accountable.”
Despite Jacqueline’s horrifying few months, she is feeling empowered, ready to reveal her face, and truly beyond blessed to have her man by her side.
Having A Strong Support System
Having a strong support system through a loved one’s cancer battle or other traumatizing experience such as Jacqueline’s is important so that you can also take care of yourself amidst their fight. It is commendable that her boyfriend Nathan is by her side, but after what he has gone through with cancer, he needs to also continue making sure that he’s okay.
Tools and networks like therapy, support groups, and family and friends, can all help provide powerful assistance during a difficult time. In order to be there for those you love, and step into the caretaker role as needed, you must first be sure to take care of your own mental and emotional health.
In addition to getting support from your inner circle, social workers are also there to help. They can be an incredible resource. One of the primary roles of a social worker is advocacy, according to Sarah Stapleton, a clinical social worker at Montefiore Medical Center.
Social workers help with a variety of issues that arise with cancer treatment or other medical issues. They can connect you with financial resources to help pay for treatment, work with insurance companies, and provide emotional support for those who need it.
“If there is any barrier that you are finding, financial, transportation, or otherwise, a social worker is going to help advocate for you to try to do the best we can to eliminate that and make sure you get your treatment,” Stapleton says.
With Jacqueline’s army of professional medical workers, family, friends, community, and of course her beloved Nathan, it looks like she is in good hands as she begins her journey to repair herself both physically and emotionally.
For those who aren’t as fortunate as Jacqueline and are feeling alone, bottom line is never be afraid to ask for help.