Zachary was a loving, engaging, funny and happy go lucky child. He had a smile that could light up a room. He was a gifted high-school athlete, excelling in hockey and baseball. He was quick with a joke and loved to be the center of attention. He was our son, grandson, brother, nephew, cousin and dear friend. As we know all too well, this disease leaves no prisoners. Our family is forever changed, forever broken. We will continue to fight for all the Zachary's in the world. They lost the battle but we will win the war on their behalf. We miss his presence each and every day.
Zachary was introduced to percocets at the age of 17, immediately following an ankle injury that sidelined him from hockey. A well-meaning friend gave him a pill to ease the ankle pain and return to his favorite sport. As Zachary would later tell us, he was immediately hooked. Addiction, a progressive disease, took this bright, talented young man from us, turning into a person that we didn't recognize. As the disease progressed, Zachary was introduced to oxy and finally heroin. As parents, we did everything we could think of to help Zachary -- countless detox facilities, outpatient treatment, inpatient treatment, sober homes, individual treatment and suboxone. He tried, he really did but unfortunately, the demon finally won. Zachary had 60 days sober and was living in a sober home when he made the unfortunate decision to use "one more time." The "one more time" took him from us. He died alone in his room. We were never able to say goodbye.