Tyler Aubrey Townsend
I can't believe I am sitting here writing this. This is my worst nightmare come true. There is no greater pain than losing a child and I pray that what I am placing here will be a wake up call for other parents and maybe prevent another child's needless death. I WAS IGNORANT - PLEASE DONT LET IT HAPPEN TO YOU My sons name is Tyler Townsend. He left this world only 10 days ago. Tyler was 14 years old and was in Junior High School. He had those beautiful blue eyes and that charming smile that could light up a room. He loved and always hugged everyone and never met a stranger. I wish I had held him in my arms more and I miss the good night kisses and hugs. He was not just my son, he was my best friend. We had had a few normal problems with Tyler such as grades, chores and once he even took a joy-ride in my car. He was just a teenage boy, but he was always glad and willing to help anyone out. We had several projects going and even a business in the works that he knew would be his one day. He loved to draw, play with his hot wheels out in the dirt and mud, and write stories. He loved his 4-wheeler and big trucks. He had grown over 5 inches since last spring and his voice was changing. He even started taking more care in the way he dressed and was becoming a fine young man. He would pick on me now since he was taller than me and I had to look up at him a bit. THIS IS THE TRAGIC STORY OF AN INNOCENT YOUNG MAN AND HOW HIS LIFE ENDED - I FEEL MINE ENDED ALONG WITH HIM. On February 5th, 2007 Tyler came home from school around 3:40 P.M. We talked a bit because he didn't have a good day at school. He had been a little hyped-up at school but didn't get into trouble, the teacher had just warned him. While we were discussing it he told me "Mom, some days are gonna be good and some days are gonna be bad days at school." I told him I understood and that he needed to try to make most days good days. He was supposed to get his report slips that week and was actually looking forward to it. Tyler went into the living room, turned the T.V. to Sponge Bob and then went outside and brought our 2 dogs inside from the pen. He sat in the den a while watching T.V. I asked him if he wanted a snack and he said he wasn't hungry. I asked what he had for lunch and he said he didn't eat lunch -- he wasn't hungry at school. I then told him to go get some chips that he needed to eat something. He played with the dogs while watching T.V. His step-dad who doesn't like the dogs inside called and said he would be home in about 25 minutes from work. I told Tyler we need to put the dogs up in a little bit because he would be home. His mamaw called and she and I talked then I gave Tyler the phone. They talked a bit. Tyler waited about 10 minutes then took Little Bit back to the pen. He then came back in to get Daisy and asked me what was for supper. I said, "Fried pork chops." He said "Yum that sounds good." Then he took Daisy outside to the pen. His Uncle Robert called on my cell phone wanting to talk to Tyler and thank him for the birthday present Tyler had given him the week before. With my cell phone in hand, I walked outside to hand Tyler the phone and found him lying face first in the grass -- I screamed into the phone for Robert to get here -- something was wrong. I turned Tyler over while dialing 911 (4:59 P.M.) and saw his mouth was full of grass, his eyes were fixed and he was turning blue. I was trying my best to do CPR on him, but I was never trained. I was screaming for God to help me -- "Please don't do this to me!" Robert arrived within 2 minutes. He took over doing CPR. We were both screaming. Robert continued doing CPR and Hearne got home about 10 minutes later. Hearne took over CPR and the ambulance finally arrived 10 to 15 minutes later. They shocked him and continued CPR for quite some time. They finally loaded him in the ambulance and we followed. We could see them through the back glass continuing the CPR all the way to the hospital. When we would see them stop, our hopes were high only to be let down by seeing the other EMT swapping positions. We arrived at the hospital to find all of our family had beaten us there. After giving our insurance information, we were all led to a room and were told "Tyler didn't make it." The cries that filled that room and the pain and anger were enough to kill someone in itself. I never want another parent to have to suffer this. We were told since Tyler was only 14 that there would be an autopsy. I wanted to be with my child and finally got to go to where his body was. They took me to a room and we waited, held his hand, kissed him and prayed to God to please accept my son into his arms in Heaven. I kept waiting for someone to tell me this was all a bad dream and still am waiting. The car to transport his body to Jackson arrived and we were asked to leave. How could my child be dead? What had caused this? The coroner called me after doing the autopsy. He said he could not say what caused his death until the toxicology report came in which may take three weeks. I begged him to please give me an idea and he said that he suspected, "Huffing gasoline" but couldn't be sure until the toxicology report. We are still waiting on that. Tyler's Uncle and Hearne told me they smelled something that was an odor like gas when doing CPR on Tyler -- I guess I was in too much of a panic to notice any smells. Tyler's friends from school showed up at my house and informed me that huffing is talked about in school all the time. I was never aware of such a thing and had not heard of it. If this is indeed what killed my son then he was never made aware that the ultimate consequence would and could be death. Parents -- take this as a wake up call! My son was a great child -- he never was into drugs - WE WOULD OF NEVER THOUGHT THIS!! THIS CAN KILL INSTANTLY. We always thought we were protecting him from the bad things and bad influences. There is so much that kids are doing now that we are not aware of -- things that can kill swiftly and silently. Please ask your children if they have ever heard of huffing and you might be shocked at what they have to tell you. Get educated on this and what signs to look for. I feel like Tyler was experimenting and I am sure he did not know it could kill him. He had no intention of leaving us that dreadful day. A parent should never out-live their child.
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