A mother and father buried their son, but they refused to bury the truth. Bill and Aimee Scannell were proud of their 20-year-old son, Emmett. He was an honor student with a full academic scholarship, he was an athlete, a writer, a scholar. But he also had a dark secret. He was a heroin addict. The drug abuse was swift and took hold of Emmett quickly and took his life soon after.
“Within 6 weeks, heroin came into his and our lives, stole him from us and Substance Use Disorder killed him in only 18 months,” his family wrote in his obituary.
Bill and Aimee decided to be open about their son’s drug problem, because they want to prevent it from happening to someone else, to another family.
“Our honesty and openness in his obituary was so that other parents can follow suit without shame or embarrassment,” Bill said.
They shared Emmett’s photo and a message initially on Facebook and have continued to share Emmett’s story to raise awareness:
“PLEASE SHARE THIS AND PROMOTE AWARENESS!!! When you look at his picture, do you see his innocence?” William Scannell asks. “When you look at his picture, do you see an athlete, scholar, writer, inventor, musician, straight “A” student, or maybe even someone your daughter could date? When you look at his face in this picture, doesn’t it scream happiness???
“When you look at this picture, do you not see a future success story? Ya, I see all of these things too when I look at this picture but let me ask you this question… When you look at this picture, do you see a “junkie”?? Do you see a desperate young man that is addicted to heroin???? Do you see someone that is so sad or depressed or who has become a prisoner of his own life??”
“To the parents of young kids, I beg you, please do not think it can not be your child…Please do not be naive to the point that your child does not or never will use drugs or alcohol,” said William. “Please open your minds and hearts to this epidemic and make sure.you always talk to your children and I just have one last question for you…When you take a picture of your child or see your child smiling from ear to ear, do they look as happy as this poor lost soul??? Please, talk to your kids!!!!! I BEG YOU!!!!!!”
“You see Substance Use Disorder is not something to be ashamed of or hidden. It is a DISEASE that has to be brought out into the light and fought by everyone. It continues to cut down our loved ones everyday. Please do whatever you can to fight it so that you never have to feel what everyone one of us who has lost a loved one is feeling right now.”
See more of their family’s story and how their story is helping people in the video below.
William Scannell shared his son’s story in the video below.
Please share the Scannell’s important message with those you know and love.