I am writing you to express my support of HB18-1136. Charles Everette Hughes III was my nephew and here is the impact his life and death have had on my life and family.
I was there the day Charlie was born and I watched him become a sweet, happy young boy who was eager to learn all that life had to offer. He learned to play guitar, sing and was an amazing self-taught musician. He babysat my son as an infant and was a strong role model in both my son and daughter’s lives. My son, who is now 13, worshipped Charlie. He would work side by side with Charlie when he would do work on our house. He would hang out with him just to get Charlie’s views on life and see what he was doing. My daughter has never known a world with out Charlie until February 12, 2018.
As you have probably heard Charlie overdosed on both alcohol and heroine on February 9th. He was brought to St Anthony’s where the compassionate care he received was truly a gift that allowed my sister, brother in law and other family to say goodbye. I was there the day he died.
I don’t want to see any other families go through what ours has had to endure. With proper medical and rehabilitative care, Charlie would still be here today. He used alcohol to detox from heroine. Then the alcohol would take over and he would have to detox from that. It was a very deadly combination of ways to kick a habit and one that proved fatal to Charlie. His family and friends loved him tremendously and tried in every way to help in any way they could. But the astronomical costs of proper drug and alcohol treatment were prohibitive to his success and closed door after door to him.
I watch my sister go through days when making it through hour by hour is all she can hang on to. I watched her struggle to get through the moments we sat by his side in the hospital just to see him breath. I watched as her world imploded when a doctor told us he was brain dead and never coming back to us. I never want another family to suffer this kind of a loss that could possibly have been prevented.
You have the opportunity today to make a difference with HB18-1136. People deserve to live a life with dignity and respect. Yes, even people who are addicted to heroine and alcohol. When you see a drug addict, I see a person who needs help. When you see a drunk, I see a person giving up on themselves. Don’t be one of the people who gives up on someone in need of help. When you see a grieving family in pain, say to yourself “What can I do to change things and make a better world for everyone, not just those with great insurance.” This bill is the first step in stopping this insane cycle.
Thank you for your time and consideration.