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In memory of Carl Hennon

Created by Family Of Carl Hennon

Carl Hennon

My name is Misty Fetko and I am a registered nurse who works in a very busy Emergency Room in Central Ohio, but, more importantly, I am a mother of two wonderful boys and I want to tell the story of my oldest son, Carl. Carl was my beautiful little boy; eyes like large, dark chocolates, an infectious smile, and an insatiable curiosity. I spent years protecting him from harm, but two and a half years ago, harm found a way to sneak in and steal the life of this gifted young man. It was the morning of July 16, 2003. Carl had just graduated from high school and was getting ready to leave for Memphis College of Art in two days. The college had courted him, after he won an award for artwork he created his junior year of high school. The night before, Carl and I had sat in his room and talked with each other about his day at work and the pending trip to Memphis. He smiled and hugged me goodnight. He said, “Goodnight Mom. Love you.” The next morning, I decided to walk the dog before waking Carl. While walking next to his car, I noticed an empty bottle of cough medicine in Carl's backseat. Instantly, I knew something was wrong. Knowing that teenagers have a tendency to experiment, I had been vigilant for signs of drug abuse in the past and hadn't seen many. I rushed to his bedroom door only to find it locked. After finding my way in, I discovered Carl lying peacefully in bed, motionless with his legs crossed. He wasn't responding to my screams, and he wasn't breathing. I quickly transformed from mother to nurse and I began CPR, desperately trying to breathe life back into my son. I could not believe my worst fear had happened. My son was dead, but I still did not know what had caused this nightmare. We are a very close Carl had always assured me that he wasn't using alcohol or drugs. I knew he was a good kid and I believed him. I was a very involved mother. Carl had always assured me that he wasn't using alcohol or drugs. I knew he was a good kid and I believed him. During Carl's junior year of high school, I found the first evidence of marijuana in his room. After all the talks and all the reassurances between us; what had changed? I intervened, and didn't see anything else suspicious until that summer when I found two empty bottles of cough medicine in our basement after a sleepover with friends. I was determined to keep drugs out of our house, but cough medicine? I went to search for answers on the internet, but found nothing and confronted my son instead. Carl explained that he and his friends had experimented, but that nothing happened. I was reassured, once again, that he wasn't using “hard” drugs and not to worry. Again, I believed him. During his senior year, I knew Carl had developed an interest for marijuana, but I thought we had addressed it and I didn't believe that he was abusing any other drugs. So why on that dreadful July morning did I discover my son had passed away during the night? The next several months after Carl's death I frantically searched for answers. What signs did I miss? During my search, I found two more empty bottles of cough syrup. But it wasn't until after talking with his friends and finding journal entries on his computer, that I discovered that Carl had been abusing cough medicine intermittently over the past 2 ½ years. He documented his abuse in his computer journal. Through the internet and his friends, Carl had researched and educated himself on how to use these products to get high. He wrote about and enjoyed the hallucinations achieved upon intentionally abusing cough and cold products. Carl had described the “pull” that he felt towards the disassociative effects of abusing the cough medicine and seemed to crave them. According to the journal, Carl gradually increased the amount of cough medicine he abused. He wrote that he was increasingly “pulled” to the effects of escape more and more. As his abuse increased, many things in his life were changing: graduation, college, his parents' divorce, and increasing pressures in his life. I wouldn't find out until the morning of Carl's death what he and many others knew about his abuse of cough medicine. The danger that I so desperately tried to keep out of our house had found a way to sneak in secretly. But there were no needles, no powders, no smells, no large amounts of money being spent – none of the “typical” signs associated with drug abuse. Carl's autopsy report revealed that he had died from a lethal mix of drugs: Fentanyl, a strong prescription narcotic available in a patch that is removed and eaten to achieve an abusive high. Cannaboids found in marijuana, and DXM, the active ingredient in cough medicine were found in his system. To this day, I still don't know where Carl obtained the narcotic Fentanyl. There are no journal entries that talk about his use of painkillers. Was this his first time? Was he looking for a different high? I will never know why Carl made the wrong choice to abuse prescription and over-the-counter drugs. I only know parts of his story by the words he left behind in his journal; his words are now silent. I have spent many hours trying to find the reason for this unexplainable tragedy. If loving my son were enough, Carl would have lived forever. But I know now that abuse of over-the-counter and prescription drugs is rapidly emerging. Parents and their children need to be made aware of these lurking dangers – and keep up on the latest teen drug trends. Be involved in your kids' lives and talk to them regularly about the dangers of drugs. Don't be afraid of questioning them. Don't be afraid of being a pest. It is with a heavy heart and eternal love for my son that I share his story to hopefully prevent other families from having to suffer the same heartache.

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Guest Book


1. Kris Bickham
I'm going to see this weds. You got the original for me for X-Mas like 15 years ago, because I kept renting it from blockbuster. You are a good soul. We miss you.
2. Julie
Misty, I'm so sorry for your loss. Thinking about you today.
3. AddictionMyth
This is a tragic story. Drugs are powerful and dangerous and children should be taught that mixing them can kill. Focusing exclusively on the 'addiction' threat can distract us from the bigger picture. Most children who die from opiate overdoses are not in any way physically dependent on them.
4. Kelsey Schlewitz
I am so sorry for your loss of Carl. I'm 16, and have been using DXM for almost 3 years now. I think people should know more about this and how it can take a big part of people's lives. I really don't know what to say. I know I could end up dead one day from abusing DXM, but not caring just makes me keep doing it. I really am sorry for your loss and hope other people don't get started with abusing DXM.
5. Travis Dudley
I am very sorry to hear about your son's death and may the lord be with you and your precious son. I know it is hard to get over, but I am sure your son is telling you that he is home and doesn't want you to worry any more. I wish the most sympathy to you and your family.
6. Derrick Strobl
This past week, I was surprised to see a picture of Carl in a memorial exhibit at Chicago's Navy Pier. I know his mother has worked hard to let other people know about his unexpected death. It looks like her work is paying off. I am glad I had a chance to know Carl and we will all miss him.
7. Sarah Kennedy
I ran out of space. DXM should be prescription only. It should have penalties like narcotics.
8. Sarah Kennedy
My husband and father of my 3 kids died from DXM, and other things. I knew that he had a problem before we got together, and he had assured me that he stopped. He was found in the woods by the sheriffs dept, and I had to go to the hospital and ID him. It was the most horrific thing I have ever done. He thought that he was invincible on it and left his 2 daughters that will never remember him. Our son is devastated and cries all the time. He is 5 and our girls were 6 months and 2 years.
9. Sean Rowland
I cannot imagine the loss of any child and feel for you so much dear Misty. I have a now twenty year old son who by all accounts got his hatred for prescription drugs from my seven year stint as a professional addict. I was so addicted to pain killers. I used to write my own prescriptions and went to jail on more than a few occasions. I wish I knew then what I know now. I never would have taken the first pill precribed by my doctor. I have been clean now for over two years.
10. Danielle Desimoni
Wow This is so sad. I am so sorry to here about this. I am in high school and I have to do a report on Triple C and DXM. Your story has inspired me and I hope it will inspire my classmates as well. One of his pictures, the one at the beach, was taken near where I live. I will never do this drug and I wish you the best.
I could never understand or imagine the pain of your loss. My prayer each and every day is that not one more parent has to go through what you have endured. Being an addict and now sober from pain killers and downers for almost 4 years, and almost dying on more than one occasion, I often though if I had died what I would want to say to my Mom, Dad, and family. I know with all my heart that your son loved you all very much. With love, Doug.
12. Erin Meek
My cousin and his good friend both past away May 18, 2006, from a fentanyl OD. I write this because of the many similarities between my cousin and your Carl. Our Cody was happy, funny and popular. The signs of habitual drug use were not there. We knew he had done maijuana and drank, but we never imagined him doing anything else. Frustratingly, we find out that he was doing Xanax and cough meds. Even worse, it was a parent who supplied them with the drugs and she is still out selling. WHY??
13. Sarah Sloan
I am so very sorry for the loss of your son. May God wrap his loving arms around you and comfort you in your never ending grief. It takes courage to share such a difficult story with the world, and you are an angel for doing so.
14. Kayln Lotis
Hey. I am 14 years old. I am a dextro user. I have been doing it for about a year and definately well over 100 times. I actually completely related to what your son did. I gradually increase my amount. It used to be half a bottle, then it was one whole bottle, two whole bottles, now its about two and a half. I don't do it as much as i used to. I used to do it about 5 or 6 times a week, now its only about 2. But, it has affected me greatly and ruined my life. I am an eighth grade drop out.
15. Traci Sanders
Thank you so much for sharing your story. I recently found out that my 14 yr. old son was getting high on Coricidin and other over the counter medications. He is a honor student and athlete. I never expected it from him. I thought that he stopped, but found out today that he is still using. One of his friends was taken to the emergency room after taking 25 pills. I am trying to find an organization for educating parents, but haven't had any luck.
16. Carl Hennon
Carl, IV died from an overdose of fentanyl per the autopsy. He had other drugs in his system as well. I wish we had all been more attentive to his drug use. He might still be alive. I miss him greatly every day of my life. Grandpa Hennon
17. Kirstie Almanza
I may not know someone with a DXM problem and who died from DXM, but I do know its a drug and I know how it feels to lose someone from a drug. I would like to tell my story of my cousin Thomas. He died April 25,2003 in a car accident with his three friends while drinking and driving. Him & all three of his friends didn't make it out alive. Just typing this makes me want to cry. The day I found out my cousin Thomas died, my mom & my stepdad were arguing when we got a phone call for my Cou
18. Feleisha Lanham
I am a DXM user. I am addicted and reading this story has totally changed my life and now hopefully I can change my friends. I realize that this could happen to anyone and I dont want my mother to have to bury me because I wanted to get high. I feel bad for all the times I have done it because I just thought of myself and no one else. I am really sorry for what happened to Carl, even though I didnt know him. This story really touched me. R.I.P Carl.
19. Monica Feder
I don't know this young man or his family. I happened to land on this website due to an overdose almost death of my 17 year old son two days ago to this drug cough syrup. I just wanted to express my sincere sympothy.
20. Bobbie Trombley
I was doing some research after my 13 year old son's, who is in 7th grade, best friend since kindergarden past away today. He also informed me that a few of his other friends have tried triple C as early as the 6th grade. My thoughts and prayers are with you. You are a very brave person and maybe one day we can win the battle agaist drugs.
21. Dee Davila
Dear Misty, my name is Dee and I am a mother of two. My oldest, Brittany is 18 and a DMX user. We just found out a month ago after her taking 32 coricidin hbp cough and cold tablets and being taken to the emergency room. Unfortunatly the hospitals in Lorain, Oh. are very uninformed about DMX and how and what can happen. We just had our second and much more serious episode with our daughter 29 days after the first. This time she was put on a respirator and in ICU for 3 days.
22. Chelsea Kidd
Carl and I met at Oak Island, and we got to be great friends who talked on the phone and the internet everyday. He was one of the most wonderful people I have ever met, and I think of him often. My prayers continue to be with his family and those who are going through the same tragedy. God bless.
23. Michael D
I go to Hatboro- Horsham high school and Coricidin and any other product containg DXM abuse has become more prevalent then marijuana with the younger crowd (i.e. 9-10 grade). They think it is harmless, since it is "over the counter", they think oh - "nothing is dangerous, since its not prescription). It needs to come to an end. With a experiment last year, I became detatched, and almost overdosed. Please people be aware of the dangers, look it up! Do anythig besides take DXM
24. Mekaela Riley
So since the last time I left one of these things, you have been showing up everywhere. Not many people notice it but me and Emma think of you when we hear certain songs or see certain movies. I think about you alot and so does your family. I have gotten to know you and you remind me of my bother alot. Max is so much like you its scary. And, I think we like it like that way. I am so sorry Misty. I somewhat know what it feels like to loose someone especially with drugs.
25. Emma Hennon
Carl was a great brother and person. He was very important to his family. Carl really new exactaly what to say to me when I felt bad and could AWALYS make me smile. He was a very talented person and I could not even imagine what he could have accomplished if he lived longer. I truly hope his story makes other people realize how much they are loved and needed.
26. Mekaela Riley
yea i ran out of space so. I just want you to know he is an inspiration and has made a big impact on my life. ily carl :]
27. Danielle S
My cousin uses coricidin on a regular bases. I tell her all the time how bad it is, but she doesn't listen. I don't know what to do anymore. I am stuck. I love her so much and I don't know what I would do if something happened to her. I am so so so sorry about your loss. I just hope this story will help my cousin realize what she is doing to herself and how she hurts the people around her. RIP CARL!<3
28. Mekaela Riley
I practically live with the hennon family and even though I never really met carl, he has become a part of my life. From all the stories I have heard, he was a great person and I know he loved his family very much. I have two older brothers and I don't know what I would do if I lost one of them. So, I hope Carl's story helps someone else because you never really realize how much of an influlence people have on you until they are gone. We love and miss you very much. mekaela riley:]
29. Linda Shemwell
WOW! You don't know how badly I needed to read this. My son is 16 & refers to himself and to of his friends as Skittle Kings. I had no idea what that was. I started to do internet research and now know that it's DXM, cough syrup & triple c's which you can buy over the counter. I am very worried, according to my son he has taken 25 triple c's at a time. He has had out of body experiences and hallucinations. I am printing this story & giving it to him.I am so sorry for your loss and as
30. A Friend
"The flow of time is always cruel. Its speed seems different for each person, but no one can change it. A thing that doesn't change with time is a memory of younger days." Carl, you'll recognize that. We move differently these days, but we won't be apart forever. You know, I never told you, but the first two were always the best anyways. You're my secret memory. Admiration, A la recherche du temps perdu.
31. Amanda Bacon
Carl was a very nice cousin and I truely miss him. I remember when we went to Myrtle Beach and there was a big rainstorm and there was a big hole and he was brave enough to go into it. He was very protective over me when we were on the beach and tryed to stop me of what was supposidly a jellyfish. But, it was only a rubber ball. I really love him.
32. Erle Morring
Read Carl's story and was very moved. So sorry for the awful experience your family is having to deal with. However, I think sharing the story as you're doing will help save another life. Thanks for sharing Carl with the world.
33. Linda Shemwell
(sorry ran out of characters) I ask for your prayers for my son. I also ask for any help or info that anyone can provide me on this subject, I also have an 18 year old that has started using X regularly and would like info on that as well. I feel scared, like I am about to loose them both and don't have anyone or anywhere to turn - HELP!
34. Rachel Burnett
Sorry, I ran out of characters below! I don't want my kids to grow up with a mom who has an addiction. May God bless you with healing and strength and the ability to keep sharing this story to help teens and young adults realize the absolute dangers of this kind of drug abuse. Hugs to you and your daughter....
35. Quinetra Christian
I am so sorry that this happend to Mrs Hennon. I would like to say that I will live for Carl and continue to encourage others to live healthy as well. It is so easy to pick up this bad habit. Also, it is such a blessing and a sigh or relief to let it go and give it to God. I am new to reading the bible but I can say that God has yet another BEAUTIFUL ANGEL by his side. You have a very handsome angel for a son. You have motivated me to stop my behavior and go out and find others to help. GODBLESS
36. Rachel Burnett
I saw your story today on the Dr. Phil show. I am grateful to you for sharing your story about Carl. There are many kids out there today who are lost, looking for ways out of their difficult situations, ways to numb their emotions. I was into this stuff for a little while, but thankfully, I got caught and was forced to face counseling and get cleaned up. I realize now how dumb it is to turn to any kind of substance for escape from problems or fears. I don't want my kids to grow up with a mom
37. Rebecca S
Dear Ma'am, Your story moved me to tears. I'm a 16 year old girl.Having recently lost my father,due to a heart-attack,I understand the pain of losing a loved one.I know the way in which we've lost loved ones is different, but a loss is still a loss,there's no'good'way to go. I'm sorry.I have found immense strength in prayer.I would like to pray for you. People say time heals all wounds, but isn't it so easy to say so many things? I just hope God gives you strength, and serenity and calmness.
38. Emma Hennon
Carl was the best brother ever and I miss him a lot. Love your , Emma
39. Lee Conradi
I am very sorry for what happened and I feel your pain. I have recently found out that my son, an honor student, has been abusing drugs for the last year. He thinks it is perfectly okay to use drugs. He thinks he is too smart to do anything stupid. I pray that God will strengthen you. I am very sorry for your loss. I wish I could give you a hug. I wish I could give you Carl back. I am SO SORRY. Thank you for sharing. Love, Lee
40. Shelby Cherney
I am so sorry about your loss. I know how you feel because my brother died of the same reason your son died. I just wanted to say sorry. From Shelby Cherney