By Jordan's cousin, Adam
Jordan Lewis Barnes
October 13, 1991 – April 11, 2016
My name is Adam Mills, Jordan’s cousin. Jordan and I had a very problematic relationship due to his addiction. I was often the one family member he got upset with, because I wasn’t afraid to voice my opinions and concerns on Jordan’s lifestyle. My intentions were never out of spite, I only did it because I knew it wasn’t who Jordan was.
Addiction is something that is all around us these days. This disease can shred through and destroy the wealthiest of families. Addiction takes over an entire individual - their mind, their abilities to function and to live a typical life. Jordan, being Jordan, allowed all of that to happen over time, except the addiction didn’t take over his heart; he still had a tight grasp on that and refused to let loose.
Jordan would do anything for anyone, on or off of drugs. He loved the idea of being needed. He always cared about helping the next person, whomever it may be. Throughout my story you will read about Jordan’s battle with addiction and how it consumed his life.
I refuse to remember Jordan as someone who was addicted to heroin, rather I remember him as the big-hearted, loving, generous person he was.
Jordan was born October 13, 1991 to Kim and Danny Barnes. He was Kim’s only child (Kim is my Aunt on my mother’s side). Growing up with Jordan, there always seemed to be a contest between him, myself and my little brother, Braydon. Being so close in age, there were a lot of arguments, fights and the occasional “I hate you” thrown around. Braydon and I envied Jordan’s upbringing for the longest time. He lived with our grandpa and his mother, Kim. He got to go on extravagant exotic vacations, had dirt bikes, and always had the coolest toys. Being an only child (on his mother’s side) Jordan was spoiled and boy did he know it.
Jordan was an avid motocross rider. He lived for fast speed and unthinkable stunts. At the age of 15 he was involved in a serious motocross accident, causing him to break both wrists and having pins put in them. He shattered his collarbone and had a titanium plate and 12 screws inserted. He also suffered severe knee complications. After he was healed, Jordan foolishly punched an ice box at a local store in Ludlow, resulting in what’s referred to as a ‘Boxer’s Fracture’ in his right wrist. From there on, his life would forever change.
At only 15 years old, Jordan was prescribed strong narcotics for his great level of pain. This would only turn to harder drugs and heavier dosages. At 16, Jordan dropped out of high school.
Over the next 9 years, Jordan was on a constant rollercoaster of ups and downs; experimenting with different types of drugs like marijuana, Percocet, and Vicodin, and his drinking began to surge as well. He checked into ‘Our Master’s Camp’ a Drug Addiction Treatment Center in Pikeville, Tennessee, where he stayed for 3 to 4 months. He appreciated his time there. He liked the atmosphere and the people who were there. He made comments about wanting to go back to work there and help others who struggled with the same demons he did.
On Mother’s Day of 2013, at 21 years old, Jordan experienced his first overdose from heroin. He was found in the bathroom of his grandmother’s home with a needle hanging out of his leg; he was unresponsive. Jordan was rushed to the hospital where he was put on life support and remained on it for roughly 30 hours. After spending an additional few days in the hospital, he was released.
Upon his release, Jordan had a new outlook on life. He changed the group of friends he previously associated with. He changed the places he hung out. Jordan stayed with my brother Braydon for several months. Braydon and Jordan were inseparable. They had their nightly routine of going out, playing pool at the local bar, walking home to cook pizza rolls and playing video games till the early hours of the day.
August 2013 came around and Jordan’s father, Danny, presented him with an opportunity to work and make really good money in a different state. Jordan jumped at this opportunity. He moved to North Dakota and lived there for a year. Jordan seemed to be doing well, until he fell with the wrong crowd. He began using again and eventually lost his job, which ultimately led to him living out of his car. Danny booked two flights for him to fly back home but Jordan never got on the plane. Finally, with the help of Michael, one of the only true friends he had, Jordan made it home with the intent to start fresh. Michael provided Jordan with love like a brother would; a home and support. Keeping Jordan’s mind busy, Michael made sure that he would do all that he could to ensure Jordan didn’t think about drugs. Jordan stayed with Michael for a few months to continue on a positive path.
In September 2014, Jordan was pulled over and arrested for no insurance. While he was in jail he ended up getting sick from detoxing and spent 45 days in the hospital. During his hospital stay, we learned that Jordan had a lot of internal issues that he was unaware of. His kidneys had started to shut down, he had an infection in his blood which led to ‘Infective Endocarditis’ (which is a bacterial infection on the heart valve), and he tested positive for Hepatitis C from his careless mindset of just wanting to get high and using dirty needles. All this at the age of 23 years old. Jordan’s doctors told him that the next time he decided to do drugs again, it would kill him. He was on his last chance at life.
After being discharged from the hospital, he returned home to live with his grandmother, Gail. He seemed to be doing very well this time around. He was involved with a new girlfriend and had a positive outlook of the future. He seemed to be enjoying the life he was living.
One night, Jordan went out to a bar with a family friend. They were hanging out, having a good time and ultimately ended up in Cincinnati to get heroin. Nobody truly knows what happened that night, other than Jordan being with the family friend.
In result of their trip to Cincinnati, Jordan shot the heroin and began to snore. After snoring for a little while, Jordan suddenly stopped. Instead of taking Jordan directly to the hospital, the guy took Jordan to his father’s house. Once Jordan arrived, Danny called 911 and an ambulance was dispatched. His stepmother, Leigh, began to perform CPR and administered Narcan twice without any luck. EMT’s attempted to resuscitate Jordan by shocking his heart but were unsuccessful. They insisted on calling Jordan’s death at his father’s house, but a doctor at the hospital advised them to bring him into the hospital. When he arrived to the hospital the doctors did get a faint pulse and Jordan was placed on life support for the second, and final, time.
Jordan’s organs started shutting down at a rapid pace; there wasn’t anything anyone could do. Jordan knew that the next shot would kill him. He didn’t care; he wanted that high. Jordan laid in that hospital bed, helplessly on life support for nearly 18 hours, until his little brother could make it in from California to say goodbye. Jordan’s hospital room filled with family and friends that loved him, and stayed with him as he took his last breath.
Jordan lost his battle with addiction April 11, 2016. He touched many people with his infectious smile and huge heart. He was loved by many and is missed by many more.
Addiction is a serious issue and it is everywhere. Jordan had his fair share of failed attempts of staying clean, but who he was while clean made it worth it to walk beside him and fight the battle with him. I can’t express enough how much of a toll losing Jordan has taken on us.
I truly believe Jordan was welcomed at the gates of heaven as a free spirit. Free of his demons, free of pain and free of addiction. He is flying high and he is loving every second of it. Jordan is missed more than one could imagine, and not a day is passed without him being thought of.
If Jordan’s story can help one person, then I have done my job by sharing it.