In memory of Christopher Dinwiddie
He was kind, caring, and loyal to his family, friends, coworkers, and company. He was a great father to his only child, Krista, for whom he could stay clean when she was with him.
He started using alcohol and marijuana at the age of 17, which were his drugs of choice. We tried many times to get him help, but all to no avail. In February of this year, after many stressors, he began using heroin. His grandmother passed away in that same month and he won joint custody of his daughter. Then her mother moved her away and he was no longer able to see his daughter every weekend. He lost a friend to drug overdose and all those factors, on top of watching me grieve for my mom, pushed him to use heroin.
He had three overdoses; one in July, one in August, and the last in September -- which took his life. He went down on September 15th 2011 and we had to watch him become brain-dead for three days until September 18th.
My life was shattered.
I watched my only son suffer for the last three months with addiction and watched him die. The images of his last days are forever embedded in my mind. Christopher was very ashamed of his heroin addiction and we didn't know until the first overdose. He acted just like he always had.
When he went to the hospital for the second time, we talked for a long time about getting him help. He swore he wasn't going do it anymore and stayed clean for almost six weeks before that fatal overdose.He could not look me in the eyes when he told me about his addiction. He said to me, "Mom, I am so ashamed." Christopher was suffering with great sadness.
He had a disease -- addiction. He will forever be my greatest gift and my worst heartache. I miss him so much and I hate knowing that I couldn't save his life on the night he died.
On the night of September 15th, Chris was dumped in my front yard by a so-called "friend". When i opened the car door, he was not breathing and his eyes were rolled back. My husband helped me get him out of the car, I called EMS, he had no pulse, and I was yelling at the police to hurry and get EMS here. Then his heart stopped. EMS got here and put him in the rig and they worked on him for twenty minutes until they got a pulse. He went to the hospital, where he was put on life support.
He seized for 17 hours, his body violently jerking. They had to strap him to the bed and put padding all around him, so he wouldn't fall out of the bed. He was jerking so badly. They did test after test and on the 18th, a team of doctors came to us and told us that there was no more brain function (brain dead) -- that his brain stem was herniating. We took him off life-support at 5:14 p.m. and he left me at 5:32 p.m.
We didn't see much of what you hear about heroin users. He was still functional; he worked everyday, kept himself clean, and he didn't steal or get into trouble because of the heroin. The booze he had, but the doctors said the heroin can be easily overlooked when one uses booze too. The only thing I have is that he didn't become homeless, a thief, drug dealer, or anything he hated about other people. But he is dead and the truth is -- drugs killed my son.
My life will never be the same again. Never again.
I love you, Christopher, with all my heart and I miss you till forever comes to an end.
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