A heartfelt plea from a Comox Valley family for help. Let’s help the Hedicans put a face on youth drug addictions and push to make help immediately available for all our youth. Read how Iceland stops teen substance abuse. I would love to have this available in Canada which would normalize mental health supports in our communities and benefit everyone. Click here or on the pdf file to learn more.
Jennifer Hedican knew her son Ryan wanted help.
It was the weekend, and with her husband John, they took their son to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Comox. At the hospital, Ryan was only given a business card.
“They told us to call the public health nurse on Monday. On Monday, Ryan was gone.”
Hedican pauses for a moment, resting her arms on her kitchen table in her Courtenay home.
“If he was a cancer patient, would he have been given a card?”
The family called a variety of resources seeking help. There were wait-lists and roadblocks, and the Hedicans knew Ryan wanted help immediately.
They found a treatment centre in New Westminster, where Ryan lived for eight months.
He found work in Vancouver, and had moved out with friends from the centre in mid-April.
A few days later, Ryan, 26, passed away on April 24, 2017, from a long battle of addiction due to, as termed by the Hedicans, “fentanyl poisoning.”