March 11st, 2013 was the day that I found out my son, Dylan Bradley Pearson, 19 and my only child was using heroin. By the time I found out, heroin had already gotten its grip on him. It was the beginning of my worst nightmare.
Over the next year, he had gained 2 felony charges due to his heroin addiction. He was in 3 different treatment centers. In May of 2014, while he was IN a treatment center, which he was furloughed to, I received a phone call from one of his friends that he had overdosed and was in the Emergency Room. Worst drive of my life was to the hospital not knowing if he was alive. But luckily, he was. He survived this overdose. He was taken to jail 36 hours after he got there, and stayed there for 30 days.
He got out and began the same routine. As much as we tried to help, or keep him home, there was nothing we could do. We went to the extreme of sitting in front of his room. I had to get up for a minute and my husband went into the other room to take a call. Dylan went running out the back door. There was nothing that we could do. I never gave him money, but I did let him live at home. I talked to him every single day, and he did not want to live like that anymore. There was not a talk we had that I didn’t tell him how much I loved him.
In October of 2014 Dylan agreed to go to Florida for treatment. On October 10th he boarded a plane to Florida. He didn’t want to be there from the get go, as his long time girlfriend lived here in Elk River, so he wanted to get back home. He walked out of the first center he was in and I refused to bring him home. He partied for a few days in a hotel with some other kids that got kicked out for using. He then went to a halfway house down there until he got himself into another center in Florida in which he completed the program. He received his completion certificate on January 17th, 2015. He was 90 days clean.
I picked him up at the airport at 1 am and he didn’t know Jazmin, his girlfriend, was going to be with me. When I opened the door, she popped out; I have literally never seen Dylan so happy. He cried, he wanted to be home.
Dylan tried so hard but the first week he fell back again. He went to court, was going to be on probation and seemed to be ok again. On the afternoon of January 30th a friend of his called him to get rid of the rest of the dope he had before he went into treatment. I could tell he was high when I got home from work, but he hung out with me all night, and we had fun. He seemed fine when I told him I loved him and went to bed about 12:45.
Dylan went to bed and never woke up.
He died January 31st, 2015. In his bed. In our house. The blood curdling scream from my husband is one that rings in my head daily. Our worst nightmare had come true. My only child is dead.
I don’t remember much about that day, but I do know that my life will never be the same again. Every day when I walk into my house his shoes are still where he had them and his jacket is on the banister where he left it. We will never again have our midnight snacks together, which we shared every night for years. Dylan and I were very close, we talked 10 times a day on the phone and he received 1000 texts from me, making sure he was ok. He will never have the chance to get married, have kids, travel, and do all of the things that a 19 year old should be doing.
Dylan was so funny. He was quiet, but when he did talk, he was funny. He and I always knew what each other was thinking, and we talked, good talks, all the time. Jazmin and Dylan had been together since they were 13. She was the love of his life. They were best friends. Dylan had so many friends that cared for him, and they have so many stories that I still hear every day.
He was a good athlete, loyal, handsome and genuine. I cannot put into words the pain that this loss has caused me and my family. My mission has now become to help others get into treatment, and help change the system we currently have. This drug has killed too many young men and women. I fought this fight with him the entire way through his addiction. Some days I keep thinking that I will wake up and this will all be a dream.
Let’s do all we can to help them get the help they need, break the stigma of addiction, and make some changes.
– Jennifer Nordeen