Our son Kevin was born on November 20th, 1980. He was one of the happiest babies I’ve ever seen in my life. He 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 he had an accident on his BMX bike and he broke his neck. He broke the C2 vertebrae. It is called a Hangman’s fracture. The doctors told him that it was a fatal injury. It is the same fracture that Christopher Reeves had. And it happened the same summer that Christopher Reeves had his accident. He was placed in a halo and then had to have surgery three weeks later to do a bone graft and put a metal plate in his neck. But our son was not paralyzed! He only had temporary paralysis in the very beginning. However he developed chronic pain and 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 him in multiple rehabs. And each time he would get back on the medication because of the pain. The last time he was in the hospital in intensive care and he almost died but he pulled through and 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. He was one of the most gentle and caring fathers I’ve ever seen in my life. And his children responded to his loving care. They were very very close. Kevin was also a very talented musician and a concert pianist. His music was his second love in life. He came home the last time from the hospital with a very 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 long time. His children were coming to stay with him for the summer and he was so excited. He had gotten back into his music and was playing and recording his music. He was doing awesome! The next day I found his dead body in his room. He had used the Opana 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 and myself and my husband, Kevin also left behind four siblings and eight nieces and nephews who struggle very much with his death. (Submitted by Phyllis Allen, Kevin’s mother)