as told to Natalie Dillon
“I work with younger children and families. So I had some knowledge of AODA. In that way, it was helpful. In another way, it was unbelievable. How could this be happening to my son, my family? It was a shock. Things were going horrible at home. He was stealing, would come and go. It was terrible to deal with. You really can’t deal with a person that is using very well. It’s very difficult to keep your cool. I probably yelled more times than I should have, but he was still my son; I still wanted what was best for him. He was living in the basement and he was required to go daily to the jail for the UAs (urine analysis). So, his dad would pick him up in the morning and take him for the UAs. I had to get ready for work. I’m in the shower, and all of a sudden, I hear screaming. I heard it through the floor of the basement. So, I jump out of the shower and throw my robe on. I still had shampoo in my hair. I ran down there and there’s Kurtis. He was lying on the floor and his dad was crying. People have this gurgling sound when they’re dying, and I heard Kurtis gurgle. I had the Narcan. It was way in the back of a cupboard, so I threw everything out of the cupboard. It was kind of adrenaline that kicked in, and I knew what I needed to do. I didn’t get out of the little instruction sheet and read it. I don’t think I put the needle where I was supposed to. I just put it in because I knew he was dying. I still see the color of my bathrobe, I still see Kurtis lying there, I still hear the gurgling. I still have a lot of vivid memories and other things are foggy from that day. But I think Kurtis is a success story. He’s alive, he’s healthy, very healthy, and he’s a productive member of society. There is still some hope. Not all of those stories have to end up terrible. I, at least, had a happy ending.”
Luann is a family and child therapist for Winnebago County. She took classes to learn how to administer Narcan to save her son Kurtis’ life. For more FIXED stories, please visit www.uwosh.edu/fixed.