I was at work and as usual, we were very busy on the unit. I work in a program named Miracles in Progress. It is for unhoused men challenged by life adversities. I received a call on June 26, 2021, from my niece. They told me that Ty was in the emergency room. He had stopped breathing. 

My heart raced. I immediately left work and caught the bus, switched to the train, and got off at the transportation center and raced for six minutes to get to the hospital’s ER. I went to a window, told the attendant that my cousin Ty was in the emergency room and I went right back.

I saw my sister, his mother, and other cousins. I went over to the bed, kissed and hugged him. I  started praying. Then I sat down to speak with his mother. She told me he had stopped breathing at the house and his girlfriend performed CPR with no success.

The doctor came in and told us that he was dead.

We were in shock.

The days following his death and up to the funeral were difficult for my family. Folks started whispering, that he really died at home from drugs his girlfriend gave him. Then at the funeral emotions were running high. Family members were arguing. 

A couple of weeks later, I was at my cousin’s home. A letter came from the medical examiner’s office.

It said Ty had died from an overdose of cocaine.

We were stunned! All the dysfunction in my family seems to stop for a while. I told my family that all of us will get counseling and heal our hurts. His organs were donated.

We are still healing.

About the Author: Imani Badie has a degree in business and certificates in advocacy, parenting, and leadership. She is a Community Recovery Specialist at Girard Medical Center. Her interests are history and reading. Imani uses her lived and professional experience to help those challenged by adversity.