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Tommy A.

By Tommy's mom, Kathleen

Tommy Jacob Arnold with his son

Decatur, Illinois

Our youngest son, Tommy died of a heroin overdose on June 25, 2016. His battle with addiction started when someone offered him heroin as an alternative to dull the pain of a toothache. It instantly grabbed control and robbed him of everything - family, friends, jobs, cars, a home - but most of all it robbed him of his self respect.

Growing up, Tommy was a typical all-American boy with hopes and dreams. He loved music, movies, campfires with friends and just being with those he loved. He was a shy, gentle giant that was always kind and caring to everyone he met - he would give the shirt off his back to anyone in need. Tommy lost it all to this horrible, ravaging drug.

On the morning of June 25th this year, I was awoken by the coroner telling me that our Tommy had overdosed just a few hours earlier - and his body was awaiting our funeral instructions at the morgue. No parent should have to receive news like this.

Tommy fought hard before losing his battle with addiction. He was in recovery five different times, but this last time he wasn’t able to fight his way back.

30 days of treatment isn't enough to help those afflicted successfully fight this battle. Longer, progressive plans need to be developed to stop this epidemic from taking the lives of our loved ones. Although Tommy is in heaven now, pain-free, he leaves behind parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, a brother and sister, the love of his life, and his six year old son. We are all heart-broken.


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