ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) – Losing a child is the type of tragedy that most people cannot – and don’t want to – ever imagine, but one father is reliving the same sad story over and over.
His hope is that the ending might be different for someone else.
With St. Louis County on track to double the amount of heroin deaths this year, Tom Heard is lashing out against the deadly drug. Heard lost his son Michael to a heroin overdose, gathering the courage to tell KMOX the story last spring.
“He died sitting in his truck in North City on a beautiful afternoon – October the first,” Heard said, back in May. “It was shock. It was devastating to hear.”
Heard spoke again Thursday night at a town hall meeting, telling his story to a high school theater full of parents. He said he is determined to spread his warning to other parents.
“If education is the answer, I’m willing to participate and do that,” Heard explained, after the meeting. “It’s very hard telling this story, and it was much harder tonight than I really thought it was going to be, because it’s hard to relive it again.”
Heard said living with heroin addiction in the family brings fear – of injury, of police intervention or, as in his case, the worst fear of death.
“The peace and tranquility that you hope for, you don’t have it.”
Heard’s message hit home with the audience, who gave him a standing ovation and round of applause. Parents approached him afterwards with handshakes, hugs and heartfelt gratitude.
Copyright KMOX Radio.