She gets emotional when she recalls saying goodbye to Brandon as he boarded a plane for a treatment center. "This overwhelming feeling of grief came over me," she says. "Just being able to just touch him and tell him goodbye meant a lot to me." Debbie was able to sleep through that night for the first time in months, maybe years.
She explains the effect the intervention had on Brandon's younger siblings. "Bobby and Christina, right now, they're both very tired. It was a stressful episode for both of them."
"I didn't get to put my arms around him after the show," regrets Doug. "I didn't get to tell him that I love him." But he felt better when he saw the interaction Brandon had with Debbie at the airport.
He explains that coming home to a house with a member of the family gone left a feeling of emptiness — but also optimism. "We have a long journey to travel, but I'm confident that our family will be a much happier family when we get there," says Doug.
Debbie says it's a different set of emotions this time around on Dr. Phil's stage. "The last time, I felt fear as my main emotion. It's so different coming here, knowing where we are today, feeling peaceful and happy," she says. Doug admits to being much more at ease now.
"What was your greatest fear as we approached this structured intervention?" asks Dr. Phil.
Doug and Debbie were both afraid Brandon would detach himself from his family and they would never see him again.
"You know that I said to both of you guys that I thought you had been enablers, and I called on you to find the courage to step up and make a decision," says Dr. Phil. "Where did you find the strength and courage to do that?" he asks.
"I feel I have my son back," says Debbie. "I see a bright future. I see him setting goals, expressing himself, wanting to be with us, wanting to spend time with his brother and sister. And we don't have to walk on eggshells. It's wonderful," she says.
Dr. Phil tells them, "It's your courage, Doug. It's your courage, Debbie, that have given Brandon a second chance in this world, and you need to give yourself credit for that."