Randy Williams and his brother’s love

“He knew it was me who called the police,” recalls Rob Williams. “It was clear from the cold hateful gaze he gave me as the police escorted him to the patrol car. It was a terrible day for both of us. I was desperate to get my brother, Randy, treatment for his schizophrenia and this was the only way.”

Rob had made arrangements to have Randy admitted to Sheppard Pratt Health System.

Rob’s heart broke as he watched his artistic, deeply compassionate, intelligent brother slip away over the years from the impact of schizophrenia. There were many hospitalizations and medications that did not work. As his illness grew worse, Randy became more removed from daily activities and his circle of childhood friends. He became painfully shy, his mild stutter became more pronounced, and he had stopped taking care of himself. Randy struggled with his thoughts. He struggled against many dark years, lasting more than a decade, which included several suicide attempts.

In spite of everything, Rob never lost hope. Rob knew his brother was fighting against schizophrenia. For example, every Christmas Eve, Randy would stop by the homes of his childhood friends with a handmade gift. His love of people and his spirit of generosity was never lost, even during his hardest struggles. 

Having him arrested for evaluation was one of the toughest decisions of Rob’s life, but Randy desperately needed help. Rob had hope Sheppard Pratt Health System would have the answers – and he was right.      

Randy was hospitalized at Sheppard Pratt for two weeks before being discharged to a community-based crisis program, operated through Mosaic Community Services. From the crisis beds, Randy moved into supportive housing and participated in a variety of programs at Mosaic, including the day rehabilitation program and outpatient clinic. After two years, Randy moved into his own apartment and gained employment. While still under the treatment and care of Mosaic Community Services, Randy was very independent, and was genuinely happy and content with his life. He found value in life again. He returned to his love of wood working and painting. 

“Randy’s life in recovery gave us both joy,” recalls Rob. “It was so good to have my brother, my childhood friend, back. We spent time together again. He spoke at great length about his friends at Mosaic. He found a community of individuals with complete acceptance and understanding, who knew him for who he was and not as an illness. Randy took the time to tell his story to others, to listen and empathize deeply with his Mosaic friends for their struggles.” 

“Randy set up a woodworking shop in Hampden in a warehouse he rented. It was one of the many things he was proud of and I was just as proud for him. He studied sign language as a way of helping others who struggled to communicate, as he often struggled. He was an interpreter at a local church. He returned to his childhood friends. His warm smile once again brightened my days. Thanks to Sheppard Pratt Health System, Randy was in recovery – he had created a satisfying, independent life in the community.” 

“With so much going well, it was devastating news to learn Randy suffered a blood clot. My friend and brother was gone, once again.” 

Why I Give

It has been many years since I lost my brother, but I will always remember how Sheppard Pratt Health System and its community-based programs under Mosaic Community Services gave Randy his life back. Not only do I give in remembrance of what this team of skilled professionals with big hearts did for Randy, but because I want to help all people, like Randy, be led back from a dark, miserable place to happy and productive lives.

I encourage you to share your blessings with Mosaic Community Services. The richness of the programs is dependent on our charitable gifts. The fee-for-service reimbursement structure barely funds the clinical services; it is our gifts that provide psychosocial support programming, the client emergency fund, and vocational services which are absolutely vital to a person’s sense of recovery, independence, and self-worth.