Wall of Remembrance
As a part of our efforts to bring awareness to the state of addiction, we asked for you – our viewers – to send your stories. Those you’ve lost, as well as stories of challenge and triumph. Below is the collection of responses from those affected by the opioid crisis in America.
See our Stories of Hope.
"Anthony (Tony) L Bishop died 10/15/2015 just 10 days after his 35th. birthday. He struggled with heroin addiction for years. Went to rehab for 13 months is 2006 then relapsed 9 years later and died...He was such a good kid always thinking of others. He was even an organ donor. I love you Tony."
-- From Beverly Shaw-Kuhn on Facebook
"I lost my beautiful son October 4, 2016. He was 35. He died of heroin/fentanyl overdose. I found my son deceased and continue to live with the pain of losing a child."
-- From Deborah Henry on Facebook.
"We lost our son 7/06/16. He was a son, brother uncle and a father of 5 year old twin boys."
-- From Carol Gagner on Facebook
"Ashleigh Higson had the biggest heart, the best laugh and the kindest soul. Loved dearly and missed deeply."
-- From Michele Fantasia on Twitter
"Willard Bryant, Jr. (BJ or Will), You were the best little brother to Tonnka and me and son to our parents. We miss you!"
-- From Tanya Bryant on Twitter
"My sister Linda Wagner suffered from mental illness. She self medicated with opioids all her life. She died in 1993 of an overdose."
-- From @Debskblu on Twitter
"Erica Long was a beautiful, hilarious, intelligent young woman taken from us too soon. Pills were readily available in High School and she then "graduated" to Heroin, which she battled with for years. Our family was robbed, and Heroin was the thief. Not a day goes by that we don't think of her and smile."
-- From Molly Carroll
"4/28/1985 to 1/ 29/2015 Ryan Williams was a loving son, brother and father. Forever in our hearts"
-- From Tim Williams
Our oldest son, Travis Hunter (forever 25) died of a drug (Fentanyl) overdose on January 26, 2017. Travis' smile could light up a room, he had a contagious laugh, quick wit, kind heart, very smart, handsome, and was a friend to everyone he met. We tried to help Travis every way we could.
-- From Kelly Hunter
"I got the phone call that would forever change my life at 8:05 am on May 6 2016. They said I went in to wake him up for work and he won't wake up. He's cold I think he's gone! My world as I knew it shattered.... He was born December 6 1987 he is forever 28. His name is Ryan Jackson and he is missed and loved beyond words."
-- From Stacy Holland
"Sarah Panquita Brantly was a vibrant young mother of two who lost her life much too early due to an opiate overdose....She left behind a young daughter Lilly and a little boy named Carter, who unfortunately will grow up without their beautiful mother."
-- From Alaina Combs
"I lost my son Paul Marquez on October 28, 2011 to a heroin overdose. He was 19 years old."
-- From Jeanette Marquez
"Richard Vanhart was a loving and caring son, brother, grandson and a father of 2 and half year old boy. He would do anything for anyone. He had a heart of gold."
-- From Shauna Vanhart
"Nicholas Antich Once upon a time I too was guilty of being judge-mental of drug addicts or junkies as some would call them. Until it happened to my boy... I can assure each and everyone of you that if it can happen to my boy it can happen to anyone of your family members. People who are educated, smart, charismatic, beautiful and have the world in the palm of their hands."
-- From Stacy Antich Taylor
"I lost my nephew, Justin, September 11, 2016 from this disease.
My message to others is don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask for help and never give up hope!"
-- From Melissa Magdic
"My best friend Mike Angel from Cincinnati Ohio. This my son at his grave I took pic just for this. Mike left behind kids, a grandma, sisters, bro"
-- From @Jbay5133 on Twitter
"I lost my son, Ryan Pappa, at the age of 26 (7/2014) . He overdosed on a drug called “Opana”. He wasn’t a daily user, or even a weekly user, but we lost him all the same. People need to realize that their loved one doesn’t necessarily need to hit rock bottom before talking about getting help. People also need to be educated and made aware of what is going on their communities."
-- From "Ryan's Wings" Non-Profit
"Peter Gray O'Connell 3/14/91-3/24/16
He is missed terribly by his family and friends. "
-- From Dianne O'Connell (mom), Jeff O'Connell (father), and his older brother, Kit
"My son Jake Paddy died of a heroin overdose July 19, 2013... Jake injured himself while in high school on a biking accident. He broke several bones in his foot so bad that he had to be home schooled for a few months. After his injury and surgery he was given several different kinds of pain meds... . I believe recovery is possible and I provide hope for many."
-- From Ginger Rosela
"Kenneth Romero, father of 2. Heroine overdose. Died 6/1/1985."
-- From Jontello Bennett on Facebook
Dec 11 2014, friend of my son Danny. "
-- From @Micheshell52 on Twitter
"I lost my son Jonathan Michael Karales on March 28,2017 . He just turned 19 on January 15th. He was not an IV drug abuser nor did heroin . Jonathan was an all around athlete playing basketball , baseball , wrestling and football since kindergarten throughout his life . He loved to travel with his whole family and had the best sense of humor and bright smile . I am his mom and was called at work to find out from an emergency room doctor my son had passed away and to come to the emergency room immediately. I collapsed . My worst nightmare had only just started that evening . My Jonathan had snorted a line of cocaine but it was laced with fentanyl. I do not believe he was aware of this. This is the tradedy of today's opioid crisis. I am left to mourn and so are his 3 younger sisters 10,9 and 19 months"
-- From Elizabeth Smith on Facebook
"I lost my brother Eddie last June from an overdose. My heart is broken"
-- From Meri Hatch on Facebook
"My son Lance Eager who passed from an overdose on July 12, 2014. He was 3 weeks shy of his 21st birthday...My son was a beautiful, smart, goofy loving person that made a mistake. I want him to be remembered for that person not as a drug addict."
-- From Ann Youngblood
"This is my son, Matthew Bailey. He passed away on September 7, 2012 from an accidental heroin overdose. He suffered from mental illness and substance use disorder for 7 years where he received every treatment possible for both. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough. He was generous, kind, intelligent, loving and sensitive, to name just a fraction of his good qualities. He had many talents and abilities. He deserved a better life, and the world deserved him."
-- From Sharon Bailey on Facebook Twitter
"Dillon E. Williams died 3/20/2006 prescription drug overdose. This picture was taken 12 hours before he passed away. His last day was spent with our beautiful 2 year old daughter."
-- From Hazel Green McCaskill on Facebook
"Jonathan Levitt was a gifted student who received a full scholarship to college. He was interested in the arts and history and traveled to Canada, France, Italy, Israel and Greece as well as the United States from Hawaii to Massachusetts. He was an elite hockey player and played on several travel teams. He recently worked for Wyland, The Artist of the Sea, in Laguna Beach, Ca. He was a mentor to many and helped those in need. Jonathan was born on 7-21-1994 and died 2-10-2017. He accomplished quite a lot in his short 22 years of life. We miss him every day. We love you Jonathan and always will."
-- From Richard, Barbara Jane and Lauren Levitt
"I Lost my twin brother Denis passed away from an overdose of pain meds given to him from his Doctor. He had been addicted for years. The Doctor gave him morphine on Dec 31st 2014. My brother passed away on Jan 5th 2015. He had taken 38 tabs in 4 days. He should have only had 8. He always thought the more he took the better he would feel. My heart will be broken forever. I love and miss him terribly."
-- From Denise Labane on Facebook
"I lost my baby brother to a heroin overdose in 2004, he was a Sargent in the Military about to be deployed to Iraq, he owned his own home, he was a good and kind soul, not trying to say he was perfect or that he did not have his demons, but he was not a heroin addict, I guess what I am trying to say it can happen to anyone, It can take only that ONE time, he made bad choices and it cost him his life, 14 years later the pain of loosing him is as real to me today as is was then, gone, but NEVER forgotten RIP Bubba (July 20, 1976 - June 29, 2004)"
-- From Wendy Barlass on Facebook
Jordan Gray Anderson
1/8/1990 - 4/30/2015
Jordan passed from a heroin overdose leaving behind myself, her mom, and her 19 year old brother "Boogieman" as she called him. Jordan was an amazing, vibrant, outgoing person who had a laugh that turned all heads...I try and honor Jordan and carry her forward every day to help stop the stigma associated with heroin and addiction. She didn't grow up wanting to become an addict. It is not a moral failing or a character flaw. It is a deadly disease. Something to must be done to stop the epidemic."
-- From Pamela Anderson on Facebook
"Collin Seagriff Forever 22
Heroin stole the brightest soul! Heroin stole his future! Heroin stole all his tomorrow's from our entire family! His siblings lost their friend. I lost my son Forever! Our lives forever changed by what some call a choice! Thank you WTAE for shining a light on what we've been fighting against for years! Our lives Shattered by addiction Forever Changed. His light Forever snuffed out by heroin overdose on November 23, 2016 We won't let them forget!"
-- From JoLynn Baker Seagriff on Facebook
"Lost the love of my life, my children's beautiful father on 8/5/2017. A son. A brother. An uncle. A cousin. A nephew. Full of love but his addiction took over..Addiction destroys families..]He's forever in our hearts."
-- From Michelle Lynn on Facebook Twitter
"Lost to the disease of addiction way too soon, father, brother, son, husband, RIP Harvey M. Davenport Jr. "
-- From Yvonne Godwin-Haggard on Facebook
"Our Mikey. So full of life, talent and love. He was an avid disc golf player and musician, majoring in Music Performance for trumpet. We miss his beautiful smile, music and big hugs. Prayers to all fighting this disease. We won't give up. Gone too soon."
-- From Anne Valerio on Facebook
"Our Daughter. Always remembered always in our hearts forever missed. She was the kindest most gentle soul ever. She tried helping ppl even when she was struggling. She was a friend to many. Our shinning star"
-- From Barbara Juett on Facebook
"On June 1, 2015 my husband lost his battle with addiction. It all started because of a prescription that the dr prescribed him. Then cut him off completely so he turned to the streets to self medicate. One thing led to another and next thing I know we were BOTH shooting heroin. On that first day of June we both overdosed. I woke up, he didn't 😔😭 2 days after he passed I went into treatment and haven't looked back since."
-- From Mary Welker on Facebook
"One of my nephews who lost a life at a early age RIP Matthew Franklin Absher we all love n miss u both"
-- From Patty Andrews Royal on Facebook
Jackie Brandon Moxley
"Our family has been hit really hard with this epidemic we have n this world! My sister lost 2 son's n a 4yr.period! Sad no parent should have to deal with a loss of a child! #StateOfAddiction RIP my nephew love n miss u"
-- From Patty Andrews Royal on Facebook
"My daughter Jetta Alexandria Grimes. She was born July 19, 1982 and passed on November 21, 2016."
-- From Hugh Grimes
H. Joseph Ressler
-- From Julie Ressler
"I lost my son on November 25, 2013 from an accidental OD...The desperation of this disease knows no bounds. It has taken the most important person in my life. My son. Keith. It has twisted and cataclysmically ruined my entire life. His daughters and wife's life. He tried so hard. He went to detox every other month...I watched my son cry because he was in so much pain. The body pain, the sickness, the skin crawling ugliness that feels 100x the feelings of the flu. It was horrific what he went through. What addicts go through. Some worse than others. I miss my baby boy every minute of everyday." -- From Toireasa Nickerson
"Mason McClaine, a 24yr old, was lost to this opioid epidemic October 7, 2016. This nightmare started after being in a motorcycle accident at age 17. My son had surgeries for his injuries, along with physical therapy, then complications which prolonged the healing process even longer. The entire time, I gave him the medication as prescribed by the physician for over a period of several months. I never thought that giving him his medication as prescribed would be the beginning of the end...This was my son my baby my life. The loss of my son has been crippling to our family. I miss my son every minute of every day."
-- From Gina Saccone
"On April 2, 2016 my beautiful, vivacious, young, dry witted, deeply caring, loving, intelligent daughter, mother, sister, granddaughter, auntie, niece, cousin and friend passed away of an accidental overdose and died two days before her son Camden’s 2nd birthday."
-- From Kathleen Errico
"My son, Joshua Giroux lost his battle on October 24 2013 he was 24 and had been clean for 8 months. We tried for years to get him treatment. His two sisters, and his brother miss him greatly as do I. Please continue reporting, and raising awareness, so no more have to die. "
-- From Mary Giroux
"Steven 'Mark' Visnick
A beautiful life lost to long term prescription pain pills"
-- From Becky
"Jacob Joseph Kallal
A Beautiful Soul. Jacob's love for family, friends and life will always be remembered."
-- From Becky
"Our story is the story of so many families. If you could reach out to the Facebook site: GRASP (grief recovery after substance passing) you would see all the families that have lost. It is heartbreaking to continue to see / hear the stories of loss."
-- From Patricia Kauth Franklin
"My son Justin was a sweet young man with a kind heart. He loved his family, his dogs and playing the drums and guitar. Justin started taking Vicodin when he was a senior, he said because it helped him relax during finals. He died in our home from taking Methadone. We miss our son every day and the life that he, we and his brother are missing. Justin died 2/23/2010. Thank you so much for for having this show. Addiction and overdose death can happen to any family."
-- From Trish Tampas on Facebook
"Two weeks ago my family lost a part of our hearts. Houston Thomas Jewell, 21 years was not long enough to love you."
-- From Stephanie Seutter on Twitter
"Mark A. Richardson 4/21/1985 - 3/10/2010"
-- From Bryan Richardson on Twitter
"July 31,2017 I lost my son Zach to a heroin overdose.. still waiting for for toxicology report. Forever 21"
-- From Debbie on Twitter
"Please place my son's name on your memory wall. He was loved. Son, husband and father. Bradley Glenn Godfrey. "
-- From Sandra Godfrey on Twitter
"My firstborn daughter
Amber Lynne Kemme
3/9/83 - 7/22/2015
Miss her every single minute every single day."
-- From Tina Kelly on Twitter
"My beautiful, kind, loving daughter Courtney. She left 2 babies motherless on 03/06/17"
-- From Laurie Hauck on Twitter
"Beautiful daughter...lost her battle with Substance Use Disorder...10/19/12...miss you and love you forever, baby doll."
-- From @jkesty on Twitter
"Heroin took my baby brother in 2014, He is loved and missed everyday. He was only 25. I love you dearly, James J. Hensley "
-- From @castro27555 on Twitter
"RIP Terry Fritz 12/20/87-10/1/14"
-- From Jason Fritz on Twitter
"Heroin stole the promising future of our beautiful, full of life daughter Jessica Williams at 22. Heartbreaking."
-- From Debbie Cope Williams Twitter
"Kyle Renfrow beloved son 27 years old lost January 2017"
-- From Dennis Renfrow on Twitter
"Forever Loved. Forever Missed, Ryan McDonough 2/15/76-9/9/07 "
-- From KJ on Twitter
"02-21-96 - 09-14-14
Rest In Peace and love to my beautiful son Robert ❤️More"Twitter
"Mark A. Richardson 4/21/1985 - 3/10/2010"
-- From Bryan Richardson on Twitter
"Todd Christopher Smith, Best gift God gave me+best friend+daddy
Just U+me Ma!
Soul's teether2U feels heavenly pull daily"
-- From Anissa Makris on Twitter
"Miss my son David every day. Forever 23. 8/8/88-5/27/2012"
-- From Dan Yancey on Twitter
"Beautiful soul taken by the #stateofaddiction mercy and forgiveness on your soul John Patrick Casey"
-- From @seamarfennell on Twitter
She was tenacious and funny and loved to be in the thick of things. She was also patient, loving and more forgiving than anyone I have ever known. She was a true fighter and although her life was very short, there was never any doubt that she was a very old soul.
Unfortunately, this disease came early, struck fast and furious and on October 9th, 2016, it robbed her daughter of ever knowing her mother and took an irreplaceable person who had so many gifts to offer this world."
-- From Dina Marie on Facebook
"12.6.94 - 11.23.15 on Thanksgiving this year will mark 2 years since my brother passed from heroin addiction. My angel"
-- From Danielle on Twitter
"Missing my beautiful nephew Derek who lost his battle 12/14/16. We love you & miss you beyond words. "
-- From Mary-Ellen Cooper on Twitter
"We are burying my nephew Monday September 18, 2017. His addictions started with prescription drugs. RIP #jacoblavender"
-- From Dawna Gauthier on Twitter
"This is my daughter Jen Smith. Taken way too soon! We miss you so very much! Beautiful daughter and mother to your boys."
-- From Susan Biggs on Twitter
"In loving memory of David Christie. 7-22-17. Beloved son, brother, daddy, and boyfriend. We miss you every day."
-- From Debbie Christie on Twitter
"Our ONLY son, Roy Douglas Tome, passed away on March 18, 2017, while living in a recovery house in Croydon, PA...We will probably never know who supplied that deadly dose to Roy. He took that answer to the grave with him. May he rest in peace."
-- From Roy and Pattie Tome
"This is my son....he died on 10/18/2015 from 5 prescription drugs in his system....5 Doctors prescribed 65 drugs to him in a 4 year period....I am suing the 5 Doctors...Doctors need to quit over prescribing."
-- From Nick's Family
"A year ago June 16 was a year since my mom "left"...it goes further than a state addiction. It's a STAY of addiction. Her blue eyes, her crooked smiles and sloppy kisses, my life as I knew it are all gone. This is what doctor's, pills took from me. She will never see me get married, she'll not give me away.From age 40 on in my life.. I'm totally on my own because she's won't see any of it. She wasn't"just another addict" she was my world."
-- From Tenisha Karr
February 5, 2017
-- From Lynn Wencus
"This is our son Kyle Dennis Sundo. He was born 4/29/1994 and lost his life to heroin addiction 4/24/2016. He was our only child and we loved him immensely. He was bright, witty, sympathetic and a compassionate human being who loved his family and dog, Blinx. Kyle hated the fact that addiction took over his life and broke his spirit and mind."
-- From Jeannie & Dan Sundo