I’ll use Alex’s words tell this story…
"My older brother is in the ICU right now. It’s uncertain what’s going to happen to him. He had been battling a terrible addiction that was controlling him every day. Sometimes he was better and sometimes, worse... well this time, it was worse. On Sunday morning we found him out cold on his couch. He wasn’t responding. We called 911. He wasn’t breathing and his heart had stopped. The paramedics resuscitated him. His pulse was weak so he was rushed to the ER. They told us he had gone into cardiac arrest. It had been hours since it had happened."
Since writing that post, Alex’s brother, Kristian has passed away at the age of 26. Kristian leaves behind a wife and 3 children, a mother, father and siblings who will all miss him very much.
Alex posted the following after his brother passed away.
"I'm going to miss you big brother. You're the reason I am who I am today. Your successes always pushed me to reach for the stars. You also told me once that your failures were for me to learn from. You taught me so much and cared so much for me and everyone else. You were an amazing father that loved the crap out of your kids and wife. We were there for each other as kids and we were there for each other now. Now that you're no longer with us, we will be there for your family. I love you Kristian and I'll always miss you."
As Alex shared in his post, his brother has struggled with addiction to pain medication for several years. He and his family are openly acknowledging this struggle and the resulting tragedy that has befallen him as a result. I myself am an addict/alcoholic with 14 years of sobriety. I have lost several friends to addiction, and so often, I’ve seen the ugly truth of addiction hidden. This family is naming this demon, this illness, this opioid epidemic that is running rampant in this nation and that has so tragically impacted their family. This family deserves the love, community support and assistance that would come along with any other loss resulting from chronic illness.
And like too many Kansans, Alex’s brother was uninsured. Their family lives in poverty and was struggling before this tragedy struck and now, they must find a way to pay for a funeral. His mother, father, four younger siblings, wife and children are grieving and they really could use some financial support to reduce one aspect of their stress.
Will you please consider making a donation today? I’ve seen the power of the Wichita community. I have personally felt the love and support and seen it manifest in great and wonderful things. Even a $5 donation would show support and would accumulate when combined with the generosity of others. Please make a donation that falls within your means to help this family during such a difficult time.
- Stacie Valdez
- Cristian Mendoza
- Susan Wallis
Organizer and beneficiary
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