Patrick’s Story

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Patrick named his newborn daughter in honor of the PCAF social worker who changed his life.

Patrick was a former child soldier near Kitgum in Northern Uganda who was forcefully recruited into the Lords Resistance Army.  He rose to the rank of commander, where he had to kill many people, including two of his own siblings.  Patrick came to the Kitgum clinic in October 2011 for treatment. At the time, staff reported that he suffered from the most severe case of PTSD that they had ever seen.  Patrick suffered from continual flashbacks and would command imaginary rebel soldiers in the ward.  He attempted suicide multiple times.

His wife and family feared for their safety when he returned home, as he slept with a club by his side that he would reach for during frequent nightmares. He visited the clinic regularly and worked closely with PCAF social worker, Jean Laker.  After months of  treatment, Patrick, who had been withdrawn and uncooperative, is now a helpful member of the community.  He and his wife care for the children of his deceased sisters. He had recently completed building a house for his mother, and named his newborn daughter Jean Laker in honor of the PCAF social worker who had changed his life.