Patient battling depression Pays It Forward to crisis care manager

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

Emily Larsen is a survivor. She's battled depression and PTSD for years after the deaths of her mother and two brothers, and has tried to commit suicide.

"I'd want to be in bed the whole time," said Larsen. "I didn't want to go out, didn't want to see anybody. I stayed at home and did nothing."

But instead of giving up, Larsen got help at Horizon Health and Wellness in Apache Junction, where her care manager Liza Hartwig showed her that giving up on life is not the answer.

"It's rewarding for me, but it's more rewarding that they are able to function better with their family member," said Hartwig.

Larsen is convinced if it weren't for Hartwig, she wouldn't be here and would never have built up the confidence to get a part-time job and interact with people again.

Larsen was so thankful she reached out to CBS 5 to Pay it Forward to her care manager, who was out of work for four months with a leg injury.

A news camera was there when Larsen surprised Hartwig at work and gave her $500.

"You are such an amazing person," Larsen said. "You've saved not only my life, but a lot of people's lives. You've helped so many people and you deserve it so much. From all of us and Channel 5 we'd like to give you $500."

 "I love what I do," said Hartwig. "I think I'm very good at it. I love helping people ."

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Jason Barry
Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

Click to learn more about Jason.

Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

An avid sports fan, Jason follows the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Suns with his wife, Karen, and son, Joshua.

His favorite stories to cover are the station’s Pay it Forward segments, which reward members of the community with $500 for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to help others.

Jason, started his career at WBTW-TV in Florence, SC before moving to WALA-TV in Mobile, AL, was named the Associated Press Reporter of the Year in 2002.

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