Victor - forever 19
7/19/93 - 8/10/12
Victor Orlando Woolson was attending a local Community College, living at home, when a new friend introduced him to a legal product in a store to smoke. This was Spice, also known as K2, legal weed, etc.
Victor graduated High School in 2011 and was interested in Criminal Justice. About the K2 product, he said, "How bad can it be, MOM, it's in the store."
We found out just how bad on the evening of my 53rd birthday. The police came to our door with the news that Victor had drowned. We were in shock, he was a strong, healthy teenager who could swim well. We went to the Emergency Department and the nurses and doctors were working on him. He was still alive, but barely. They could not regulate his body temperature, his organs were failing. His eyes had no reaction.
There was no water in his lungs, he had died from a chemical known as XLR-11. It was the only thing in his body. His friend gave the police the empty package of Avalanche that they had smoked. Victor was in Intensive Care for several hours and died the next day.
I'm writing this after 7 years. I continue to grieve for my only son. Victor was important to not only me and his father, but his two older sisters and their children - His nieces and nephews looked up to him. He was important to his cousins, Aunts and Uncles, as well as his friends. Victor is kept alive in our hearts as well as in the stories shared through the VOW Foundation (named after Victor).
Joey - forever 28
3/15/87 - 5/3/15
This is the story of Joseph Anthony - Forever 28 - as told by his Mother.
My son Joey was into meth and all sorts of trouble. He was a street punk, pants sagging, thought he knew it all. In 2012 he was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison. I stood by him the entire time.
On Novemeber 1, 2013, he was released from prison. He was excited and scared about his coming home. I picked him up at the bus stop. We waited for the bus and finally it pulled in the parking lot. The doors opened and off walked my son, pants pulled up belt on, shaved and quite buff. He hugged me and when he did said "I will never go back to prison."
He went strait to work with the goal of getting on in the oil fields. He worked hard he took care of his kids. Prison worked and changed my son's life around. He stayed clean and off drugs.
He talked a little about wanting to smoke marijuana but was on parole. So he found synthetic marijuana - Klimax. He started smoking it in January of 2015. He soon became so addicted and tried and tried to quit but just couldn't - the withdrawals were as bad if not worse than the Heroin. In March of 2015 he was fired from the oil rig and he slipped deeper into depression and his addiction. All the while he kept trying to quit.
After talking to some old friends, one told him they got addicted to the fake weed and that the only way he was able to quit was by doing some Meth, staying awake a few days and then crashing for a few days. My son left with his cousin on a Wednesday night. I spoke to him on the phone Friday and realized he was high on Meth and I asked him what he was doing because he was doing so well. He said, "I know Ma and I want it back. I am more disgusted with myself than I can imagine." He said, "But I promise Mom when I go to sleep I am done with all of it." All I could say was you better be.
I got a call on Sunday, May 3rd, telling me my son died, died in an ambulance after laying in a field for over an hour with police waiting for the ambulance. The fake weed wore at my son's kidneys. His body couldn't metabolize the Meth and he went into multi-organ failure. He was 28 years old with his whole life ahead and he would have continued to live clean and working hard if it weren't for that synthetic marijuana.
In trying to cope with his death and the tragedy of it all, I had started a group on Facebook to help spread awareness. I have gone to Juvenile Jails and high schoools and shared my son's story with the hopes it would save one young person's life. We also picketed in front of stores we knew sold the fake weed. This drug is by far one of the worse drugs ever. It has been 4 years and 4 months and the pain is still as great as the day I got that call. I share your pain and loss and share your hate for synthetic drugs...God Bless.