By Kevin's mom, Phyllis
Raleigh, North Carolina
Our son Kevin was born on November 20th, 1980. He was one of the happiest babies I've ever seen in my life. Kevin was always smiling and we called him our little angel baby. He was always very very bright. He potty trained himself at 18 months old and he taught himself to read at five years old. But at 14 Kevin had an accident on his BMX bike and he broke his neck. He broke the C2 vertebrae. It is called a Hangman's fracture and he was told that it was a fatal injury by the doctors. It's the same fracture that Christopher Reeves had and he did it the same summer that Christopher Reeves did. He was placed in a halo and then had to have surgery three weeks later to do a bone graph and put a metal plate in his neck. Thankfully our son was not permanently paralyzed but only had temporary paralysis for a short period after the accident.
However, Kevin developed chronic pain - eventually, he was treated with opiates and he was on pain management. He got addicted to the pain medication and start using on the streets. We put Kevin in multiple rehabs; each time he would get back on the medication because of the pain. The last time Kevin was in the hospital he was in intensive care and almost died but he pulled through, went through detox, and was put in the rehab section of the hospital. He came home totally clean of the opiates but on a lot of other medication to help with the pain. Kevin has two beautiful children whom he loved dearly and were the most important thing in his life to him.
Kevin was one of the most gentle and caring fathers I've ever seen in my life. His children responded to his loving care and they were very, very close. Kevin was also a talented musician and a concert pianist. Music was his second love in life. He came home the last time from the hospital with a positive attitude, ready to move on with his life and with his children - the day before he died was the happiest day I'd seen him in a very, very long time. Kevin's children were coming to stay with him for the summer and he was so excited. Kevin had gotten back into his music and was playing and recording his music. He was doing awesome! The next day I found him dead in his room.
He had used again and the combination of it and all the other medication that he was on killed him. That was May 15th, 2015, and I will never be the same. We know he is in heaven with the Lord because he was a believer and we know he's out of pain now but oh we miss him so much! Besides his children, myself and my husband, Kevin also left behind four siblings, eight nieces, and nephews who struggle very much with his death as well. This Facebook post by Kevin's sister on the first birthday after his death says it all, "My heart still aches for you Kevin and I know it always will. I still can't believe you are gone. I am grateful for having known your kind soul and for having you as my brother. I will miss you and love you forever.”