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Corey W.

By Corey's mother, Suzanne

Corey Watson

Greenfield, Massachusetts

Growing up, Corey had dyslexia and other learning challenges. He was shy, quiet, and very sensitive. He loved animals and was always sympathetic to others. All of that changed on his 13th birthday on September 13, when he got hit by a car while riding his bike. He landed on his head and was taken to the ER but they didn’t find anything wrong with him.

Over the next two weeks, however, he changed drastically. His personality went from painfully shy to aggressive and he became a risk taker--it was frightening. I took him to many neurologists but nobody could help. It seemed like there was no way to fix his injured brain. He then became depressed and got into drugs. He went in and out of the Brattleboro retreat in Vermont including a period during which he went to school there until he started committing crimes and got caught up in the legal system, which never seems to help. This cycle was hard to watch because there was nothing I could do to help him even though I tried everything: different therapists, medications, specialists, etc. In September, he started using heroin and fell in love with a girl. Some time after that, they decided to get clean together and admitted themselves into rehab in Boston. I picked him up on Christmas eve so he could come and spend the holidays in Massachusetts with us. I've never seen him so happy.

One day Corey called me around 5 o'clock and asked me to wire him some money for laundry and snacks. He had only been in the step-down unit for a few days after spending three weeks in a secure rehab facility. He had more freedom in the sober house--he was getting himself to and from meetings and appointments. He took the money I sent him and used it to buy drugs. His roommate found him unresponsive. They did manage to revive him a couple of hours later but he never regained consciousness. Corey was brain-dead for three days before he was removed from life-support on February 1, 2014. Corey died of an unintentional overdose.

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