Caroline Best, 36, turned to a life of crime in a desperate bid to fund her spiralling heroin addiction.
The British woman spent 15 years in and out of prison on a succession of shoplifting charges before docs told her she had 12 months to live last year.
Her drug addiction was causing her heart to fail — and she was too unwell to have surgery.
But policeman Stuart Toogood helped her enrol in a rehab program and she’s turned her life around.
She is now celebrating 12 months off drugs — and her heart problem has rectified itself.
HOW CAROLINE DID IT
She said: “Thanks to Stuart Toogood, I’m now a productive member of society and I thank him for helping me do something I couldn’t do on my own.
“I am living proof that we can recover.”
PC Stuart Toogood, from the Birmingham Neighbourhood team in England’s West Midlands, added: “Our Offender to Rehab Program has so far successfully placed nine prolific offenders into rehab.
“Of the five who have completed the program one has gained full-time employment at Timpson, two have worked as volunteers for Birmingham Mind charity and completed adult education courses.
DOCS SAID SHE WOULD DIE
“They have also been ambassadors for WMP (West Midlands Police), presented at several business conferences to raise awareness of the program and the benefits of it for the business community.
“And two people are in after-care at dry houses — one should be progressing into employment soon whilst the other is about to undertake adult education courses.
“Four other people are currently in treatment and doing well. Several others are in the process of being assessed for rehab placement.
“This has resulted in a huge reduction of shop thefts in and around the Birmingham North and East regions as many offences were being committed by a core group of offenders.
“We are certainly seeing a benefit in this new approach.”
This article originally appeared in The Sun and was republished with permission