Monday, April 19, 2010

Chicago Tribune: Huffing Death Leaves A Town In Mourning

From the Chicago Tribune (April 18):

On Friday, two parents made what was probably the most difficult decision of their lives. They decided to remove their son from life support on the advice of doctors who said his brain was too far gone.

A week earlier, their affable high school senior looked forward to taking his first automotive classes at local community college in the fall. He planned to follow the family's professional lineage of mechanics and build a future for himself. However the dream was cut short when on April 12 he huffed a chemical cocktail of propane causing a fatal seizure.

That evening, the 18 year old young man rode with his friends for the last time. When first responders arrived, his heart had not beaten for ten minutes leaving his brain severely damaged.

Months earlier his parents discovered their son was smoking marijuana and sought counseling. He attended his requisite meetings and, because most chemicals in inhalants are not tested for, passed all the drug tests. However his mother noticed her child was losing weight after his release. When asked, he replied "I'm fine. I'm fine" a response that echoes hauntingly in his passing.

Between Friday and Sunday 1,100 peers showed their support and supported one another through a Facebook memorial group. Now, his father is left with a 1987 Trans Am, their father-son project.

"I want parents and kids to know," his father said. "People don't need to die this way."

If you know or suspect someone is addicted to inhalants visit http://www.inhalant.org/ or dasis3.samhsa.gov to get help. Your simple steps could save a life.

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