This past Saturday night my 15-year-old daughter asked me if she could sleep at a friends house and go to the movies. I said yes. She has always been very good about communicating with me and checking in with me. But her plans changed that night, and the series of events that followed is nothing that any family should have to experience….I received an FB message at 1:00 am saying someone had received a phone call saying that my daughter Ryleigh Payton was somewhere passed out. Immediately my heart sank, and I tried to call her phone repeatedly, and of course, there was no answer. I questioned who, where, when, why’s…and received no answer back because that girl was already on route to finding the girl who called her and my daughter, picked them up and brought them to my driveway.
As I opened the car door to see my daughter, lifeless and foaming at the mouth covered in vomit, with 911 on their way. The ambulance arrived on the scene, and she was unresponsive since we didn’t have many details except she had been drinking vodka we weren’t sure if she was given or taken anything else, so she was given Narcan four times only to fall unresponsive. She was transported to Heywood where there was no change. We were told my daughter’s airway was not strong enough and she would need to be intubated and transferred immediately to UMass. While there, the doctors informed us my daughter was no longer breathing on her own. I suffered 14 long hours pleading and begging for my daughters life, experiencing flashbacks from the moment she was born, to her first smile and giggle, the first time she said Mama, her first step, her 1st birthday, her first day of school, her first friendship,sleepover, sickness, her graduation of middle school, our private mother daughter moments, laughing, joking, running, snuggling and so forth, I was thinking of her siblings and what losing her would do to them and the rest of her family and all of the people that love her.
My daughter was with a group of teens, I’m sure as the started to notice some signs that Ryleigh was not okay,panic started to set in, they thought they would get in trouble if they tried to get help, so they left her there….only one girl who was not even her friend but an acquaintance, stayed with her, trying to find a way to get my information and she succeeded. She didn’t care about getting in trouble herself, she wanted to get her the help she so desperately needed, the other kids who left her I’m sure we’re scared and didn’t realize the severity of her condition at the time, so I’m sharing our experience so that EVERY TEEN who may come to be in this situation knows….you will NOT get in trouble for getting someone help!!!! You have the ability to SAVE a precious life!!!!! So please reach out and get help no matter what the circumstances. That one girl SAVED my daughters life by contacting someone who could get ahold of me and if it were not for her, the reality of it is I would be burying my daughter this week. PARENTS share this with your children so they see the dangers of under age drinking and what it can do!!! After 14 hours my beautiful daughter finally, by the grace of God opened her big beautiful green eyes to see her Mama and asked for her sister Courtney Ackles, and we are on our way to a long recovery due to breathing issues, bodily injury from her repeatedly falling while intoxicated, lacerations to her eye, and the worry she doesn’t develop pneumonia from vomit being in her lungs, so we are not fully out of the woods yet, but she is home, safe and as comfortable as she can be right now.
Thank you to all who have stood by my family in this time, saying prayers, helping my other kids and husband while I was at the hospital, we are blessed. Please share this to prevent another child from going through this and another parent to endure what I have. My 92 lb. child had a 2.8 blood alcohol level from drinking Ciroc the typical Vodka of choice among young teens these days. Don’t ever think this couldn’t happen to you because it is very real and it’s everywhere!!! Our pictures of her may be disturbing to some, but our hopes are in sharing our pain we may be able to PREVENT AND SAVE ANOTHER CHILD!!! SHARE OUR STORY!!!
Thankfully, this young woman was able to return home. But it’s a situation that we see posted on social media, from parents around the country, time and time again. Help spread the word – it prevents even one person from repeating this, then it’s worth it.
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