Service to community is how Lead Caregiver Patrick Kindy chose to give back to those who supported him through his darkest times. Through the help and continued care he received at the Sean Humphrey House, Patrick transformed his life from resident with a bleak future to becoming an inspiration for others.
Kindy was diagnosed with HIV in February 1997. Struggling with his addictions, Patrick acknowledged he’d given up on himself at an early age. “I wasn’t ready for life and I didn’t know how to live any other way,” he said.
As a resident of Bellingham since 2000, he considers Whatcom County home. During his first stay at Sean Humphrey House, Patrick still wasn’t ready for recovery. He recalled that executive director at the time didn’t give up on him. When he left the house, he noted that “she encouraged me to be better, to want better, and to think better.” When Patrick was finally ready to change, he asked to return to the house. “I called and asked for help, I needed to stay close to good people,” he said. Patrick was welcomed back.
As a recovery tool, Patrick employed an introspective approach with music as therapy. He had a safe place and space in his room at the house to work through his emotions. “It’s my hearts purr, without the pressure of the world’s demands,” he said.
Sean Humphrey House understands and treats not only the physical effects of HIV/AIDS, caregivers are dedicated to working with residents in all aspects of life. From nutrition, health, to emotional support, “the caregivers were there to be a good family or friend,” he said. “They showed me what a healthy example looked like, and they pushed me to better.”
In the time when Patrick’s family could no longer bear witness to his addictions, the professional support he received from the Sean Humphrey House and others was a life line. He has since reconnected with his family, “to go from scaring my family, to a grim prognosis, and now to be the one caring for my parents.” Patrick recalled the moment he heard his parents say, “I’m proud of you.”
Patrick looks back on his life, “It’s crazy how much can be accomplished or destroyed in a matter of 3 years,” he said. While in school he would take the bus, watching moments of his past roll by. “From the alleys I slept in, to my time at Sean Humphrey House, and now going to college. I never said thank you,” Patrick recalled all the moments people had been there for him at his worst. “I was so grateful, I hope my actions can show it.”
Patrick reclaimed his life away from addiction. “I made the decision to get up and move forward,” he said. Patrick pursued his GED and was encouraged to continue with his education. He graduated with honors and degree in arts and sciences from Whatcom Community College while also becoming a certified nursing assistant. Since departing the house as a resident, encouraged by his wife, his case manager and the Sean Humphrey House, Patrick pursued a path to help others the way he’d been helped.
Patrick has dedicated his new life to his wife, family, and the residents of the Sean Humphrey House. Now working daily with others struggling with similar life challenges, Patrick said “I’m in a place where I can make a difference, the time we give is the most valuable.”