Published on March 27, 2018

Life is good once more

Dayna Jones can smile again—and feel joy.

Dayna Jones“I’m a changed person. I know I’m not going back to that dark place,” she says, describing the depression that is now just a memory. “It’s as though someone opened up a window and let in the sunshine.”

Dayna credits a women’s group at the Mercy LIFE – West Philadelphia Day Center with opening that window. The group meets weekly and is led by two social workers. It gives women the chance to share their personal struggles—and support each other as they work through them.

Dayna joined Mercy LIFE – West Philadelphia last July, after a stroke affected her memory, balance and ability to walk. With the help of physical therapists at the Day Center, she’s largely steady on her feet now—so much so that she sometimes forgets to use her cane. And her recall is far better. But perhaps her most important progress is emotional.

A secret no longer hidden

Dayna arrived at the center reeling from a secret her only daughter—now 28—had finally shared: Her daughter had been molested as a child by someone they both knew and trusted.

“I felt so guilty that I didn’t suspect what had happened and that I hadn’t protected her,” Dayna says. And that guilt ate away at Dayna. But slowly, week by week, the support and encouragement from the members of her women’s group allowed her to forgive herself and find peace.

“They were very good at telling me my good points, though it took me time to listen,” she says. “But when I could, I found tremendous comfort.”