Haleigh Killen

Haleigh K: From Life-Threatening Eating Disorder to Recovery at ACUTE

I have been struggling with my eating disorder since the age of 12. I had been in and out of treatment and wasn’t able to maintain recovery. Before coming to the ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders and Severe Malnutrition at Denver Health, my symptoms were becoming extreme. I was living like a ghost. I didn’t want to die and I knew something had to change. I began researching programs and came across one that said I was not medically stable enough to go there – so they sent me to ACUTE. I had heard good things and agreed to go.

I don’t remember much when I first arrived at ACUTE, but I do remember being greeted with warmth and smiles that remained throughout my stay. I hadn’t eaten in a long time, and the staff was so patient and understanding. I loved the Certified Nursing Assistants! It was nice feeling like I had a friend with me, and I wasn’t alone. The love, care and encouragement I received at ACUTE made a huge difference.

I’ll never forget when my psychologist said, “the world needs you.” It made me feel valued and like I had a purpose, not because of my disorder but for who I am as a person.

Going to ACUTE first was extremely valuable in preparing me for the work I would be faced with in residential treatment. If I hadn't gone to ACUTE, I wouldn’t have been in the right head-space, let alone properly form words and sentences. I had a tendency to compare myself to other patients, and I appreciated the individual care at ACUTE. I had time to focus on myself and find my voice through journaling and having time for self-reflection. I was able to spend time thinking about what I wanted to get out of residential treatment.

Today I can proudly say that I am in recovery. I have completed treatment and I am focusing on working and going to school. I have a lot to live for. Thank you, ACUTE!

ACUTE Earns Prestigious Center of Excellence Designation from Anthem
In 2018, the ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders & Severe Malnutrition at Denver Health was honored by Anthem Health as a Center of Excellence for Medical Treatment of Severe and Extreme Eating Disorders. ACUTE is the first medical unit ever to achieve this designation in the field of eating disorders. It comes after a rigorous review process.

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