Our names are Amy (Parzych) Gauthier, Caitlyn (Parzych) Granger and Matthew Parzych. We are the surviving siblings of Kyle Parzych who recently lost his battle with addiction. Our amazing and humble parents, Raymond & Sandra Parzych, are now deeper than ever in sorrow and debt as we plan to lay him to rest.
Sandy and Ray celebrated their 38th wedding anniversary in March. They moved into their first house in Southbridge in 1985 where we spent our childhood. Ray worked as a tractor-trailer driver for Garelick Farms, maintaining that position for 30+ years while Sandy stayed home with us.
In 2004, Sandy and Ray built a home in Warren, MA following the birth of their first grandchild. Soon after, Sandy began experiencing an increase in health ailments (she was already handicapped at this time). She required surgery on her foot after a break healed improperly and during the surgery an extremely rare and permanent nerve damage occured and she was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. She is in pain 24 hours a day and there is no cure.
Ray, the provider for the family continued to work anywhere between 60-75 hours a week not including an almost 3 hour commute back and forth to Franklin, MA. It was not uncommon for him to sleep in his car in the parking lot for a couple hours between shifts and not come home to eat or rest.
When Kyle, the youngest, began abusing prescription medication in 2010 for crippling lifelong anxiety, it was devastating. He began down a drug fueled path which took the honest, loving, funny, smart and caring man we knew him to be, away from us. Between credit cards, hospitilizations and treatment programs he accrued substantial debt. Our parents tried desperately and futilely to help him manage his problems and debt the best they could, often times ignoring their own health and finances to do so.
As the years passed, our father began having more and more complications from his diabetes. He suffers from neuropathy and almost lost one foot due to a diabetic sore. He was supposed to take time off for this, but every day he got up and went to work as he saw no other choice. He also maintained our home and vehicles to make sure Sandy was ok to go about her day with the grandchildren as now there were 4 and work. Though most days she could barely stand, she had no choice but to go back to work part-time.
Kyle's situation continued to deteriorate. He became so addicted to the drugs he found himself in and out of atleast 7 treatment programs over 2 years, once making it an incredible 5 months and 3 weeks clean. The bills surrounding his credit card debt, multiple hospitilizations and treatment programs brought our parents to the point where they decided it was necessary to sell our family's home. They began working with a realtor to put the house on the market.
On March 1, 2014 Kyle overdosed for the third time. A friend did the same and didn't recover. We hoped this was the wake-up call that could be the catalyst for Kyle's recovery. Sadly, in a short amount of time we realized it only drove him deeper into depression as he carried tremendous sadness and guilt over his friend's passing.
On June 12th, Ray felt an incredible sickness wash over him approximately 10 hours after having cataract surgery. He didn't have the strength to move or speak. Matt came the next morning to drive him to a follow-up appointment with the eye doctor and carried his weight inside. The doctors quickly established it was not a complication from the surgery and he needed to go to the emergency room immediately. After being taken by ambulance to UMass it was established Ray had suffered a series of mini-strokes followed by a substantial stroke in the area of his brain that controls coordination and balance. After 2 days of observation, testing and physical therapy he was released only to return the next day after suffering yet another stroke. The devastating blows kept coming as Ray was informed, due to his prognosis, he would never be able to drive commercially again.
Still reeling from this news, our family faces another setback. After roughly 5 weeks in treatment Kyle is prematurely discharged from his treatment facility on Friday July 4th. The following day Kyle left home, saying he was going to visit friends. Then, just hours later, we got the call we had been dreading for years. Kyle had been found unresponsive and without a pulse, overdosed in Holyoke. Our family rushed to Holyoke Medical Center where he was on life support. Preliminary tests showed no brain activity. Doctors braced us for the worst stating people with this amount of catastrophic brain damage are not known to survive.
Kyle had signed up to be an organ donor. After 48 long hours of extensive testing and organ preservation, Kyle, our sweet baby brother, was officially pronounced brain dead on July 7th, 2014 at 3:03 pm. All of his other organs were incredibly healthy and through his ultimate sacrifice, Kyle saved 4 lives donating his heart, lungs, liver, pancreas and kidneys.
Faced with the cost of laying our brother to rest, we knew we had to swallow our pride and ask for help. Please consider donating. All funds will go directly to Ray and Sandy for funeral costs and medical bills. If you can't donate, please share this with everyone you know. Say a prayer for us, and hug your loved ones. If you know someone who is struggling with addiction, offer them support and assure them there is another way. Thank you.
Amy, Caitlyn & Matthew
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