Sunday, March 6, 2011

Have you heard about Henry?

OK, I admit it. Prior to cutting off our cable in favor of Netflix, I was addicted to watching shows like Hoarders and Intervention and Teen Mom. Hoarders had no redeaming value, but it was a train wreck of crazy cat ladies and I could not look away. Intervention, was different. I found myself not so interested in if they got treatment (the usually did) and if they relapsed (sadly, they often did). Mostly I wanted to see the flashback portion where family, friends, and often the adicted person try to explain how they got that way. I realized that I was mostly watching to generate a list of pitfalls to avoid in Lydia's life in the hopes that she will never have the problems of the people on these shows.

And then I heard about Henry.

Henry was an 18 year old who went to a private school in Knoxville that I could only hope to afford for Lydia some day. I do not know Henry or his family, but I have been drawn into the tradgedy of his story. His mom is a local writer and blogger. PJ actually worked with his dad at one time, years ago. Like many kids, henry experimented with drugs. Saddly, he eventually found himself painfully addicted. His family sent him to treatment facilities and tried to get him the help that he needed. They watched helplessly as he turned 18 and they could not force him to do anything.

And then they watched a beaten and braindamaged Henry pass away from an assault and overdose. For 10 months they have attempted to work with local authorities to get justice for Henry. They freely admit that Henry was an addict, and realize that his decisions played a role in what happened to him. However, they also know that someone gave him a lethal dose of drugs and beat him to the point that his ears bled.... for weeks. The people who were with Henry while he overdosed are adults, who resisted calling 911. Henry's phone shows a lengthy and strange relationship with this couple, and Henry's own account (provided during a breif recovery period prior to his death) asserted that this couple involved him in a prostitution for drugs ring. The woman even called and texted the family numerous times to state that she wasn't going to be blamed for Henry's overdose, sometimes 20 times a day.

I can't imagine the pain and grief of watching your child suffer with a demon that you can not save them from. I can not imagine watching your child suffer a physical assault of this nature. I can not imagine watching your child die. And I cannot imagine that the police would do so little (not interviewing the victim during the moments he was alert, not reviewing the text messages on his phone, not seeking any arrests in this case, and even calling the sketchy couple "good samaritans" for eventually calling 911 hours and hours after Henry's overdose).

Henry's family has waited patiently for 10 months. They are now breaking their silence, and telling the painful details of Henry's story while teaching many of us a LOT about laws pertaining to prescription drugs, accidental and intentional overdose, and how a "good kid" from a "good family" can still succumb to a terrible disease. They are now seeking the full attention of the media, locally and nationally, to help them get justice for Henry. They are asking bloggers to blog about Henry. So now you have heard a little about it from me. Please read the details of Henry's story at her blog ( and if you know anyway to help, consider helping. If it were your kid, wouldn't you want everyone to know, to be warned, to help?

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