It’s been a year since Jan Garwood, a 72-year-old central Florida woman, won her freedom back and started trying to piece together what was left of her life.
In 2017, Garwood was placed in an assisted living facility against her will. A judge had declared her mentally incompetent and put her in the care of a professional guardian to protect her health and finances. The system was supposed to help her. Instead, Garwood felt like a prisoner.
She was stuck in a lockdown ward for three years, until a local activist and two attorneys managed to get her rights restored. By then, though, she’d lost more than three years. Her guardian had sold her house, leaving her temporarily homeless. All of her possessions were missing.