Photo: In an MVC presentation, Tiffany Eis shows a photo of the terrible condition of her feet before they had to be amputated because of drug abuse. (Photo by Will Lee)
Story by Will Lee
Tiffany Eis was a seemingly normal child, she came from a loving family of four, she ran cross country, and graduated high school a semester early. But Tiffany had a secret that only few knew about; she was addicted to drugs.
Eis spoke about her experiences at programs, sponsored by the MVC Counseling Center, at the Eckilson-Mabee Theatre on January 28 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. At one point in the MVC presentations, Eis showed what the abuse of drugs had done to her by taking off her prosthetic legs as she told the rest of her story.
Eis started smoking marijuana at the age of 15, she said this led on to harder drugs. “I said to myself, if marijuana isn’t hurting me, then oxycontin or meth won’t hurt me either.” Eis graduated from Northern Arizona University with bachelor’s degree in speech communication, but didn’t use her degree till much later.
After graduating from NAU, Eis relocated to Columbia, Mo., to get a fresh start away from drugs. But her addiction followed. Eis soon met individuals with interests in drugs and started down her old path.
Her life was a downward spiral to what was likely an eventual early death.
On her 30th birthday, Eis said she died. Eis was getting ready to go out with a friend and celebrate another year of life. Eis went to take a bath and didn’t wake up till she was in a hospital bed two days later.
Eis’ friend came to her house to get her for the outing but she wouldn’t answer the door to the bathroom. She then left and decided to come back two days later to hang out. When her friend showed up again, Eis’ boyfriend was wearing a gas mask and moving out. Eis’ friend asked the boyfriend where tiffany was and he said she was in the bathroom, not talking to him. The reason he was wearing a mask was because Eis’ body was rotting in the tub. Eis’ friend busted down the door down and found Eis nearly dead. After much begging by the friend, the boyfriend agreed to put Tiffany’s body in the back of his pick-up truck and then dumped her body off outside the hospital.
All of Eis’ organs had shut down and she was technically dead. She spent the next two months in a coma and woke to her mother, father, and brothers patiently waiting to find out if she would survive and wake from the coma.
The day after she woke, the doctor told her they would have to amputate her hands and legs from the knee down. They started with her legs and, when they were amputated, blood started to flow back into her hands and the doctors were able to save them.
After 180 days and more than $800,000 in medical bills, she was finally released. Before she left, the doctors told her that her survival rate was 1 in 100,000, but a law officer had something to say before he let her out. He told her, “If it wasn’t for your family I would not have saved a junkie just so you could go out and kill yourself again–Prove me wrong.”
Eis said she was saved and given a second chance by God.
Tiffany Eis has turned her life around and is a nationwide motivational speaker. She has spoken at numerous high schools, colleges, and even on “The Maury Povich Show.”
Eis wants to open a dance studio in the Kansas City area for amputees. “I was given this second chance and I will not waste it,” she said.
Knowing firsthand, she wants students to stay away from drugs and the devastation they can inflict on individuals and families. She encourages people with drug addictions to seek help in order to rescue their lives from the pain and sorrow of drug addiction.
Her website also includes information about seeking help through the Substance and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The SAMSHA hotline phone number is 1-800-662-HELP (4357).