Doctors told her bluntly they would not operate until she was clean.
Caroline owes her life to her determination to change – and to a kindly cop who could not bear to see her throw her future away.
Pc Stuart Toogood, of Erdington neighbourhood police team, got her into a rehab facility where, after intensive help, she moved to a dry house.
Now Caroline is celebrating two years clean. She will shortly start work at Livingstone House rehab centre in Small Heath, helping other addicts kick follow her journey.
West Midlands Police hailed her as “inspirational”.
Speaking previously, Caroline 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.”
Her new healthy lifestyle means she no longer needs heart surgery as the faulty valve repaired itself.
Pc Toogood said the West Midlands force was proud of its Offender to Rehab programme.
Speaking last year he said: “The programme has so far successfully placed nine prolific offenders into rehab. Of the five who have completed the programme, one has gained full time employment at Timpson, two have worked as volunteers for Birmingham Mind charity and completed adult education courses.
“They have also been ambassadors for West Midlands Police, presented at several business conferences to raise awareness of the programme and the benefits of it for the business community.
“And two people are in aftercare at dry houses − one should be progressing into employment soon whilst the other is about to undertake adult education courses.”