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Correcting a Wreckless Life

Created by Joey Ortiz

Correcting a Wreckless Life

I am from Rancho Cordova, California. My parents split up at a young age. My dad used to beat me with a horse whip when my mom was at work. My dad was out of the house soon thereafter.

My grandpa worked for a beer distributor and always brought beer over even though my mom did not drink. I was surrounded by much older boys in the neighborhood. They all wanted to hang out with me because I had all the beer. I started to sip beers at 8 years old. At twelve my older sister got a job at a liquor store. Me and my juvenile delinquent friends tried to empty the store.

In spite of my drinking I became a football star. I started smoking weed at 12. I had a girlfriend whose parents allowed everyone to drink at their house. I was always a fixture at every drinking party around town. After high school and a year of Junior College, I was out prematurely celebrating my new football scholarship as a pedestrian, when I was struck by a hit-and-run car traveling a minimum of 55 mph.

I had to be revived and transported by helicopter. I underwent 12 hours of surgery to save my life. I was in a coma for 3 days. Once awake, I ushered my early release from the hospital. I bounced back in five months with half a left calf and a destroyed knee and ankle. They said I would never play again. I played the year out and tried cocaine for the first time. I was hooked right out the gate. I started selling cars and found myself surrounded by addicts. My drinking escalated to all new highs. I did cocaine everyday for 12 years, until one night I almost over-dosed.

I lay in bed dying when I prayed to God to save me. I blacked out and woke up the next morning on 2-11-2005 and never did drugs again. I did not have a relationship with the Lord but he answered my prayers. My drinking got even worse as I was drinking a case of beer every night. On 11-27-2008 after a small argument, my wife left me and I have not had a sip of booze since. The first year sober was not hard but my sanity was.

In June 2009, I started writing my book "Correcting a Wreckless Life". On 11-1-2009 I made the greatest decision of my life when I gave my life to Christ. I currently have signed a production contract with a production company to film a motion picture based on my life story.

This Story of Hope was created in celebration of recovery and to let families know that there are pathways to hope and healing. The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids is the only nonprofit organization dedicated to helping families who are struggling with their son or daughter's substance use. Please consider sharing this page so that families know where to turn to for help, and that there is always hope.

Guest Book


1. Julie
Congratulations on 10 years today, Joey!