Regina D – January 14, 2023

My son, Brian’s story began April 7,2018 when he was diagnosed with Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome after becoming severely dehydrated causing his kidneys to go into failure. He was in denial and to be honest so was I. We had only heard of marijuana relieving nausea not causing it.   He quit for 45 days then resumed his marijuana use.

Oct 7, 2018, I had to take Brian to the ER because of his vomiting. He was dehydrated again and not only were his kidneys failing but his heartrate was high, the doctors could not get it down. He was transferred to a children’s hospital where his condition could be handled by pediatric specialists. He was able to recover enough to be released with nausea medication a few days later.

Oct 24,2018, at 3 am I found Brian sitting on the couch holding his stomach, when i  asked if he took his medicine, he said he had and that he would be ok. I woke up around 11 am to Brian vomiting. I called his doctor telling them I felt like i was slowly watching my son die. He had lost a significant amount of weight. They sent a prescription for nausea medicine to be picked up. The prescription was the same medicine he was already taking. I called his doctor and they sent a suppository nausea medicine since the pills were being thrown up.  I was going back and forth bringing Brian drinks, wash clothes, holding a bucket for him to vomit numerous times. He looked at me and said mom I’m sorry you have to take care of me to which I replied baby, I’m your mom it’s my job to take care of you. Brian grabbed his back and said it hurt, with our prior experience I thought about his kidneys. I called 911. While waiting for the paramedics Brian said mom, I can’t breathe to which I asked what you mean you can’t breathe. It was then that Brian quit breathing. I yelled for help and began CPR . A neighbor came and took over CPR. It felt like an eternity for help to arrive although I’m sure it wasn’t as long as it felt. They arrived and took over CPR. I prayed and begged for my son to be saved. I yelled to him to fight and not leave me. After 30 minutes of CPR the paramedic told me it wasn’t looking good. I begged her to keep trying, that he’s my baby, he’s only 17. CPR continued for 15 more minutes, the paramedic came out of the room, and I knew by the look on her face he was gone. Brian had said earlier in the day that he was going to quit using marijuana. He did quit but not the way we thought he would. I had to tell his sister I couldn’t save their baby brother, I had to tell my son’s father I couldn’t save our son.   I had to plan my 17-year-old son’s funeral instead of planning his 18th birthday that was weeks away.

I was not told Brian’s cause of death until 6 months after he passed away. the cause was dehydration due to CHS. Marijuana had taken my baby, my only son. I began spreading awareness, I couldn’t save my son, but I was determined to save other people’s children.

My life and the lives of my family are forever changed all because of a plant, because of lack of information. Losing Brian has mentally taken a toll on me. I’m not the mom I once was. As long as there is breath in me Brian will never be forgotten.

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