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In memory of Rodney Rissman

Created by Family Of Rodney Rissman

Rodney Rissman

Rodney was a good man at heart. He was a good friend, lover and father. I was only with him for ten months, but it was the best ten months of my life. I enjoyed every moment I had with him.
Rodney was very caring and loving. He enjoyed life. He was a lead singer and guitar player in a band for most of his life. He was spiritual, a vegetarian and he has a 19 month old son with a girl he was with for five years.
When I met Rodney, I learned he had been addicted to pain killers for five years. After he split up with his son's mother, it broke his heart and he turned to Jack Daniels to cope with the pain. The alcohol never really made him a bad man and he didn't want to be drinking his life away, but he didn't know how to stop.
Rodney was going to AA meetings and counseling for a DWI he had gotten in March of 2007. He learned through his consoler that rehab centers use opiates to help with withdrawals from alcohol, so he got some Hydro pills from a friend and he quit drinking on his own for 3 weeks. But, after having a bad day at court with his son's mother, it took only a week for him to feel the need to have a drink again. And from that day on, he just couldn't stop drinking.
He was drinking so much that he even started popping pills with the alcohol and not eating much. He didn't want to be like this, so he thought about going to a 30 day rehab. However, he kept putting it off. He started missing work and his boss offered to get him help and suggested a 4 day detox at a hospital. He felt he had to be drunk to go to the hospital to get help.
On the night before Rodney went into the hospital, he got some more hydro pills from his pill buddy and took some with a bottle of Jim Beam. The morning before he went into the hospital he was so weak he could barely move and had to be carried to the car. When he got to the hospital his blood pressure was as low as 30. He was bleeding internally and he had done severe damage to his liver, kidneys and pancreas. He contracted hepatitis B. He was put on sedation medications and a breathing machine to help him relax while he was recovering and later put on kidney dialysis.
His body was starting to heal. After his first three weeks at the hospital, the doctors decided to take him off the sedation medications and he didn't respond to anything. The doctors did an MRI on his brain and he was diagnosed with severe brain damage. We gave him three more weeks to try to come back to us, but he never did. We had to let him go. On December 30th, the doctors took him off the breathing machine and he held on for thirteen hours. I held his hand and watched him take his last breathe at 6:13am on New Years Eve Morning!
Watching him throw his life away really broke my heart. I saw the good in him. He wanted to settle down with me and we had plans to get married this year and start a life together. Now all I am left with is the memories I had with him. He treated me so well and he was very good with my daughter and he loved every moment he had with his son. He made me feel special and loved. He introduced me to spiritualism and many other things I never thought of learning before. It is just so sad that his life ended so soon in our relationship together. I would really like to get his story out there, and hope that some day I can save some one else's life!

Partners for Hope raise critical funds on behalf Partnership to End Addiction – the nation’s leading organization dedicated to addiction prevention, treatment and recovery. Every dollar raised on behalf of the Partnership* will help ensure free, personalized family support resources, including our national helpline, peer-to-peer parent coaching, customized online tools and community education programs, can reach those who need them most. Please consider donating to this fundraiser and sharing this page.

*Donations made to Partnership to End Addiction are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. All contributions are fully tax-deductible, as no goods or services are provided in consideration in whole, or in part, of any contribution to this nonprofit organization.  EIN: 52-1736502

Guest Book


1. Shirley Cornish
Hi, never really got to know Rod but if my granddaughter loved him then he had to be a good person. I'm really sorry for your loss. He sure was handsome. He will sadly be missed.
2. Michael Jones
I am sorry for your loss. I think he went on after his father's visit. In his last hours, he knew there was an angel at his side. May God bless your family.
3. Kc Church
I am really sorry for the whole family!! I am 17 years old and my mom is coming off drugs, meth, and my uncle is in prison for doing meth.