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Myself along with over 20 women in Redding were sexually assaulted on some level by a local surgeon. Many of the victims never came forward because this man was a successful neurosurgeon and who would believe them. I too, felt the same way and he did threaten me if I said anything to anyone after I refused to let him touch one more time. I went to other providers and when I told them why I left the surgeon they would tell me they couldn't help me. But one nurse finally took me aside and told me to write a letter to the medical board. By the time the medical board contacted me I had learned of other women that had reported him to the police department and knew there was an ongoing investigation so I referred them to the local police. This doctor was arrested and sentenced to only six months in minimum security at Crystal Creek. He did lose his license forever in the State of California. But the trauma of what had happened to me was overwhelming. I couldn't even hug my own kids, stopped seeing friends and because of the surgery, I could no longer work. I feel into a deep depression and really was having a hard time with life. Then one morning I looked in the mirror, I said to myself, you are the only person that can make your life better. You have to pick up the pieces and put it back together. First thing I did was stop the medications. Did I need them or did I just think I needed them? Had to find out so stopped taking them, cleared my mind which eventually cleared a path to recovery. I decided to go to Shasta College and go to the adaptive PE class which helps people with disabilities get exercise. I fortunately, enrolled in the class for the aides in the class. After discussing with the teacher I was in the wrong class, he convinced me to stay in the aide class. I respected him very much for having previous classes with him so I said I would give it try but explained I couldn't deal with anyone touching me. What I found was these people were so thankful and so appreciative for my assistance that I forgot about my problems. They had real physical problems and needed my help. It gave me strength to face my fears, I learned to trust touching again and eventually found a way to trust again. Now...I hug everyone. I work in health care and I have many patients that sometimes just need a friendly hug but I most enjoy having friends that love to give hugs. Never thought I would ever get there, but after a lot of work, a lot of tears, seeing how much those folks in the adaptive PE just give love and appreciation and really care about each other, I found I wanted to get back, no to become an even better person than I was and a enjoy a good hug every day.

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