No mother should have to go through what I did

7 Jul 2014

July, 4 2013 was the first anniversary of my son's death. My son was a vibrant, well-educated, working professional in New York City. He was also in recovery from substance abuse. He recognized his issues, and he was getting the help that he needed from his own physician. He was proud of his recovery and was stable but -- as with most people who struggle with substance abuse -- he relapsed. As those who have a loved one with substance and mental health issues, some days are particularly anxiety ridden: you try to keep them safe and hope that you can get them safely to a hospital.


                        Elaine Pawlowski's son, Michael.

We know much of the dilemma my son faced, on his last day, from the information in his apartment. We know that he was in a crisis situation. We know that he could not present himself to the emergency room without breaking his probation. We know that the state's 911 Good Samaritan Law wouldn't have protected him because he was already involved with the criminal justice system. On the day he died, he didn't go to the hospital for a relapse as we practiced time and time again; he did not call 911 as he had before. He passed away in his home in Manhattan, even though he lived one block from Lenox Hill Hospital.

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