Ruth Swindell is my hero. She has had way more than her share of loss. She lost her daughter who was only 41 in 2003; she lost her husband and her beloved grandson Ryan Wilson. Wilson was just 27 years old when he died of a heroin overdose in Chesapeake, Va. After Ruth Swindell’s grandson’s death, the police were able to track down the drug dealer who sold Ryan the lethal dose. Carlos Brown, 46, was describing the batch of heroin he was selling as “missile,” according to the Department of Justice. He was referring to the high potency. Prosecutors said he was aware several customers had overdosed when he tried to get more of the same batch of heroin. Watch the video below.
The reason I say that Ruth Swindell is my hero is that she isn’t pretending. She is calling it like it is. Her beautiful, amazing grandson died of a heroin overdose. It doesn’t make her wrong, or his loss of life any less heartbreaking. It’s the truth. She went as far as saying it is the families civic duty, to be honest, and to speak up.
Ryan was like a son to her; she has raised him since he was 14. She knows the only way that we can melt the ice in the hearts of many Americans when it comes to addiction is if we tell our stories.
Every time I read a story about a family that steps out from behind the dark curtain of guilt and shame to own what is happening in their child’s lives I have noticed that they become a force. The pain is still the same for both sets of parents but for the families that speak out, they end up becoming lights in the recovery and awareness community.
Many of the people making the biggest impact on the heroin epidemic are parents to someone who has lost their life. The families are our lighthouses in this storm, and when we see them brave and strong in their love for us, it makes us believe that maybe, just maybe our lives do matter too.
So thank you for sharing your story Ruth Swindell, I can promise you that I am not the only one impressed and inspired. Best of all I imagine that Ryan is standing with so many others that lost their battle with drug addiction too and he is pointing you out to the others saying see, that one…that’s my grandma!!
“Nothing hurts you worse than having a child that you love saying I have a big problem, I need your help, and you know you cannot help him,” she said. “I think it’s our civic duty to talk about it. We can’t bring Ryan back, but we can get these people off the streets if we all work together. I love Ryan; he was a good kid, and I miss him.” Ruth Swindell – Ryan Wilson’s Grandmother and Activist.
Read the Full Story Below: Grandma Forgives Drug Dealer who Sold Deadly Heroin to Grandson
CHESAPEAKE, Va. — The grandmother of a Virginia man who died after using heroin said she forgave the dealer who sold her grandson the drug that caused him — and others — to fatally overdose.
“He knew that Ryan had died, he knew how deadly it was, and he continued to sell it to people that could possibly die also, that’s what I find so distressing,” Ruth Swindell, of Chesapeake, said. “[But} I forgive him, I’m a Christian.”
Ryan Wilson, 27, died in 2015 after using heroin he bought from Carlos Brown.
Brown, 46, had previously described the potency of his heroin as a “missile,” according to the Department of Justice. Prosecutors said he was aware several customers had overdosed when he tried to get more of the same batch of heroin.
Brown was sentenced to 30 years in prison on Wednesday.
Ruth Swindell said she did not know when her grandson Ryan started down his descriptive path of drug abuse, but she suspected it might have been triggered by his mother’s death when he was just 14 years old.
“It hit all of us very hard, but I just don’t seem to think that he got beyond it,” she said.
She learned about Ryan’s addiction only two months before his death.
“Nothing hurts you worse than having a child that you love saying I have a big problem, I need your help, and you know you cannot help him,” she said. “I think it’s our civic duty to talk about it. We can’t bring Ryan back, but we can get these people off the streets if we all work together.
“I love Ryan, he was a good kid, and I miss him.”
Written by, Joann Miller – Managing Publisher and Director of Marketing for Kill the Heroin Epidemic Nationwide™
Edited and Published by William – Publisher and Founder
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