Julie Vail tells her son Tyrell’s story after losing him to an opioid overdose

The teachers told me if there was a space on the report card for personality he would get an A plus. He got along and made friends so easily.tyrell

As a child he played hockey and was a beaver cub and Boy Scout while his Dad was a leader. He did well in school and at the age of 12 he joined the Army Cadets. He was kind and would always help anyone he could. In high school we found out he was smoking Marijuana and we discussed the dangers of drug use.

Tyrell graduated from school and shortly after his high school graduation he announced he was joining the army. Not what a parent wants for their children but I had hope it would work out. He did well in basic training and was posted a base in Nova Scotia. He spent the next 5 years trying to hide his addiction, staying sober for periods of time and then relapsing. One June day he called me and told me he had to be taken to the hospital because he overdosed. That started the long two years of overdoses and constant worry.

Tyrell had a lot of personal problems with women and the military. After the military finally agreed to send him to rehab he overdosed the day before he was supposed to leave. I came home from work and my husband told me they had found his body in his vehicle parked outside a Tim Horton’s. It was labeled a suicide. He left behind two small girls and our world has been changed so much since that day. He was prescribed so many medications it was overwhelming. It almost seemed like he was some sort of test guinea pig.

Tyrell would go to the doctor to ask for help and he would come out with some other type of medication. He would overdose but the doctors would send him home with another prescription. I wish I knew that these types of drugs were on the streets. By the time I realized what I was dealing with Tyrells addiction had taken a hold of him. He tried so hard and was a good man, a good soldier and a good father, but his addiction always got in the way.





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