• Handmade flowers bring hope to recovering heroin addict on shores of Lake Eola

    By: Field Sutton


    ORLANDO, Fla. - Bridget Rhodes has spent half her life fighting a crippling heroin addiction, one that cost her everything, including her 4-year-old son.

    Four months clean, Rhodes showed off a tiny bouquet of handmade flowers that she hopes will help her move on with her life.

    She learned how to make the flowers in prison and sold them there to get by.

    Now, she sells them as part of restarting her life.

    “They mean to me that no matter where you’re at in life, you can make a choice to make the best of a situation,” Rhodes said. “I have been fighting with addiction for 20 years.”

    The consequences of using heroin, which included losing her son, weren’t enough to make Rhodes stop using, but now she’s doing what she can to be a different person if she ever sees him again.

    “I went into a program voluntarily with the thought of when my son does come and try to find me one day, I want to be clean and sober,” she said.

    According to arrest records, around three people end up in the Orange County Jail every day after being caught with illegal opiates.

    Rhodes does not want to be a part of those statistics anymore.

    “I just got tired of fighting the monster,” she said.

    © 2018 Cox Media Group.

    She gives 10 percent of the money she makes from selling flowers to drug addiction research and uses the rest to get back on her feet.

    “(I want to get) a vehicle and funds to either get into my home, or a home, you know?” Rhodes said. “But anything helps, you know. Any blessing helps.”

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