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Tyler Hamilton Valdivia

Updated: Aug 16, 2023

From his first kick to his last breath, Tyler was my world. Tyler was a kind, sweet, caring, funny young man. He had the biggest heart and silently took pride in helping people and animals. He enjoyed all the things of a typical teenager including, music, the violin, and video games, but mostly hanging out with friends and family.

The day Tyler left this world, is the day that my world shattered. I vowed on that day that I would tell Tyler’s story and truth as I knew it. I made this promise to Tyler and myself, to spare others from the same heartache and devastation that I now felt daily. Here is Tyler's story as I know it to be true.

On April 8, 2021, I awoke at 3 o'clock in the morning to find my son blue and barely breathing. Tyler took what he thought was half of a Percocet. What he did not know was that it was laced with illicit fentanyl.

I called 911 and administered CPR until help arrived. It took 2 doses of Narcan to bring my son back to life. Fortunately, my son's life was spared that evening. What he wasn't spared from was an addiction to fentanyl. An addiction that a year later would take his life.

On November 8, 2021, I found my son smoking fentanyl. He reluctantly, through tears, admitted that he was addicted to fentanyl. He told me that he was ashamed of himself and that he could not get up and carry on with his day without it or he would become dope sick and suffer withdrawals. I immediately got on the phone with my insurance and rehabs. Within 24 hours I had Tyler on a plane to an out-of-state rehab in Mississippi. Thinking this would be his best chance at recovery.

Tyler finished rehab, returned to California, and moved into a sober living facility. I had my boy back! The light in his eyes and that beautiful smile were back. He was so proud of himself and quickly on his way to success. He had a great job, was planning to further his education, and had so many other promising plans for his future.

Just shy of his 6-month sobriety date, I received a phone call at 10:30 PM on Thursday, April 21, 2022, from the sober living facility telling me that Tyler had overdosed. Narcan had again, spared him from immediate death. Tyler did not die that night. He suffered severe brain damage and passed away 16 days later, on Saturday, May 7, 2022, at 3:45 AM.

I was so lucky to know Tyler and have that beautiful boy in my life for 19 years. I will never forget the first day of his life and hearing his sweet cry, and I will never forget the last day of his life and witnessing his last breath.

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