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Memorial to a son who died of opioid overdose 2 days before X-mas
Pete’s overdose death
7 days before Pete died; he was admitted to an acute care psychiatric ward under what was supposed to be ‘supervised watch’. He was not allowed off ward but his hospital roommate was (who also had serious drug addiction issues) and within days, Pete’s drug of choice was snuck back in, when this hospital roommate returned from a 2 hr pass. For various reasons, Pete’s condition was not noticed by hospital staff even with two warnings from me that day.
The lethal combination of opioids mixed with the newly prescribed high powered psychiatric drugs, administered on ward, was missed and on Dec 23 2001, Pete died while a patient in the acute care section of that psychiatric ward. The autopsy and coroner’s investigation proved that Pete, alone in his hospital bed, was dying over the course of 6 hours prior to the fatal aspiration and his death. Nobody noticed.
Optimal wellness is indeed a work in progress for all of us. We need to continue to culture a sensitive and responsive approach to each personal journey and pain. We need to continue to create that safety zone that nurtures self identification, provides hope and eventually stamps out stigma.
If we, as community members can be supported at all ages and stages of life, then we can find our authentic self and our true power. With that we can define our reality and choose our destiny. We can move into a life full of possibility, wellness and inspire others to reach their potential. It is about saving lives and quality of lives. It is an opportunity to embrace what should matter to all of us - the welfare of our community and our future.
Attached is Pete's memorial which will be in our local Georgetown paper this week....
As a result of her son Pete's death, Betty-Lou dedicates her time as a provincial systems level advisor / consultant & advocate with lived experience. She helps to frame policies, governance, programming and funding. Additionally she provides peer support and outreach at a community level. She is an experienced speaker, trainer and facilitator and was the recipient of the CAMH Transforming Lives Award.