Almost 30 years ago, Debi Thomas was a decorated ice skater who won a bronze medal in the 1986 Olympic Games to become the first African-American to medal in a Winter Olympics. Afterwards, she went to Stanford and ultimately became an orthopedic surgeon.
Today, the 48-year-old doctor is living in a trailer park with an alcoholic and has lost custody of her teenage son.
Two costly divorces, unemployment and bankruptcy left Thomas living in a bug-infested trailer with her current fiancé and his two young sons, reduced to asking for money via a GoFundMe account to support a reality TV show.
Vanzant traveled to a small town in Virginia to work with the former Olympic figure skater. But while trying to get a better understanding of what went wrong, Vanzant realizes that Thomas, 48, may be her own worst enemy. The two have a deep discussion about Thomas’ personal triumphs and tragedies, as well as her failed relationship with her son.
While standing outside her trailer home, Thomas leans on Vanzant for support during an emotional breakthrough.
“You don’t have to do it by yourself this time,” she tells Thomas. “And you didn’t do anything wrong.”
“I did the best I could,” Debi says. “I feel like I’m hurting people that I care about.”
Iyanla tells Debi that the person she’s hurting the most is herself.
“You can’t help anybody until you can help you,” Iyanla says.
Watch the ultra emotional exchange below.