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Submitted photo Mary Deel, 40, has been in recovery for four months at Prestera Center.

HUNTINGTON - It took Huntington native Mary Deel some time to realize she was worth saving.

Deel, 40, was married at 16 and went on to have nine children.

All it took to derail her life was a friend offering her crack cocaine. From there, she was hooked.

"It made me forget all my problems," Deel said. "I had kids and they made me nervous. 'This helps me,' you're thinking, but it doesn't."

After that, she would do anything to get a buzz, she said.

"I lost my kids," she said. "I was prostituting. It was really bad. I had been in and out of prison three times over drugs."

She eventually tried heroin and loved it.

"A month later, I find myself homeless and very sick," Deel said. "I couldn't function right. I went everywhere drunk. I got kicked out of the homeless shelter."

It was a long road - 14 years long.

"I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy," she said.

But one day, Deel said she crawled to St. Mary's Medical Center.

"I was so scared and really nervous that they would turn me down, but they put me in the Prestera unit and they weaned me off the heroin and drinking," she said. "After, they couldn't send me home. I didn't want to leave. I didn't even have a home."

Her health had also faltered. The hospital kept her for a month.

Deel, who was on parole, said she knew if she landed back on the street, she wouldn't make it.

"I got a hold of Prestera, and I was crying because I didn't have a place to go and I was really scared," Deel said.

Prestera Center had a bed for her in its 28-day program. After completing that, she knew she still needed more time and entered the Renaissance Program, a long-term program for women at Prestera.

It's been four months since Deel crawled to the hospital.

"I'm doing great," Deel said. "I'm rebuilding my relationship with my kids. I have a 9-year-old so I want her to respect me, because she needs her mommy to be sober. I'm so thankful that Prestera gave me a chance, because if not, I would be dead."

She said she knew it was time to better herself because she is worth it.

"Everybody is worth it," Deel said. "There are a lot of people who don't realize that."

Follow reporter Taylor Stuck on Twitter and Facebook @TaylorStuckHD.

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