Krystle Flaherty

Submitted by: Lynn Stauder
Born: 1985
Died: 2013
My Tribute: To my daughter Krystle, 28 years old and a mother of 3 year old. I want to help in the cause of drug overdose. Either by volunteer, education, meet other parents going through the loss of a child. Krystle didn’t know she was going to die, she had her and her daughters Halloween costume laid out, even though it was over a week away.

Billy Henderson Jr.

Submitted by: Connie Sanderlin
Born: 1991
Died: 2013
My Tribute: My boy Billy was a tough guy on the outside, but a soft, momma’s boy, deep inside. He got mixed up with the wrong people and couldnt seem to get loose. I miss him dearly. I think a piece of me died on the day he did as well.

Love you always Billy

Todd McPhail

Submitted by: Dan McPhail
Born: 1975
Died: 2012
My Tribute: In loving memory of my first son Todd McPhail, a kind, loving, funny, warm hearted spontaneous and briliant MRI techician in 5 of the nation’s best hospitals and the best son a man could have. He had Bi Polar and chose to treat it with alchohol and opiates instead of a doctor “doctors will kill you dad” he’d often say. He mixed Zanax, Roxycontin and vodka at midnight November 19, 2012 and 4 hours later died i pray peacefully in his sleep, ending my life as i knew it as well. It’s been l3 months and i still can’t believe he’s gone. I know he would want me to know he’s sorry for the pain he’s caused everyone from his mom and i to the 5 year old little girl Savannah who will barely remember how kind and loving a dad Todd was–to his only brother Troy whose grief is beyond belief. Psychologists say the sudden death of any child is the most traumatic event that can happen to a human being, and it almost killed me. And as the people in this organization know, when its accidental overdose the guilt and anger are beyond description, but i’ve forgiven Todd and i refuse to feel guilty. Two astounding coincidences: twice in the month before he died, Todd said to me “dad, you’ve got to get TROY help or he’ll die of addiction”. And FOUR HOURS before he died the VERY LAST WORDS he said to us were “i hate Heather, my little girls mom–she won’t let me see Savannah; sometimes i wish she were dead” and i swear to god my wife’s last words to him 6 hours before his death were “don’t say that Todd–God might take you for saying that”. I think what hurts worse is not being to say goodbye, that i’ll take care of everyone you loved todd; that i forgive you; that since mom almost died with you in childbirth every day of your 37 years was a bonus; that you were the most fun, enjoyable, loveable, spontaneous affectionate and caring person i ever knew; that you were everything i wanted in a son; that’s what hurts the worst. But as your mom said “you know Dan, he doesn’t know he’s gone; to him it’s midnight Nov. 18 2012 and always will be. He’s in no pain and no one can hurt him. And he’d have never done it on purpose; he just forgot how many he took”. And the only reason i don’t feel worse is that he was not an unhappy person; always a smile, always up; just the temper flareup bi polar folks have but rarely depressed. Such as waste of a beautiful man. Todd was only 5 feet tall but was a big man to me—a compassionate medical tech that patients and doctors loved; a terrific brother and uncle; as close to perfect as a young man can be. So, since i spent 25 years as a broadcaster and run a mobile dj service, i’m joining the Lapeer Chapter of this organization to speak to young men and women in hopes i can save one. Biggest irony: three years before his death ANOTHER of Todd’s friend’s od’d on Oxy and alcohol and at his FUNERAL Todd said “you don’t have to worry dad–that’d never happen to me–i’m too smart for that”. PS: gOD BLESS this organization–no other support group cares or understands. My son Troy and i discovered Todd’s body at 8 am 4 hours after his death and if you want to know pain my friend that is it. I wouldn’t wish the pain of losing someone healthy to accidental OD on my worst enemy. And to the bastards at Purdue Pharmaceutical who continue to make the poison called Roxy and Oxy contin, may you burn in hell. Dan McPhail, Burton MI

Dean DiGilio

Submitted by: Dorthi DiGilio
Born: 1991
Died: 2013
My Tribute: Dean is missed so immensely by so many people. We miss Dean’s strength, humor, caring, and just how he lit up a room with the sparkle in his eye. Dean lived life fearlessly. He battled Cystic Fibrosis, depression, and addiction with everything he had. Ultimately Dean took his own life because he saw no other way to end the battle. Life with out Dean is something that I, his mom, will never adjust to. I somehow have the strength and courage to go on each day because I know that is what Dean would expect from me. I know Dean is guiding me everyday. Dean was extremely talented mechanically and loved riding and working on his motorcycle. He also was a high achiever in mixed martial arts. Dean loved his family very much and his dogs Buster and Nala.