Updated: May 8
By Kelsey's mom, Darla
Kelsey Suzanne Vaudreuil
Kelsey Suzanne was born on August 25, 1991, in West Palm Beach, Florida, but lived most of her life in her hometown of Wellington. Growing up, Kelsey was a sweet, soft-spoken child who made friends easily. She had two brothers, Korey and Austin, whom she loved with all of her heart. In Kelsey’s pre-teen years she loved the baton and was very involved with a discipleship group from church, which strengthened her faith and wisdom in God.
At age 16, Kelsey began working at a small town movie theatre in Wellington - sadly, that is where her opiate use began. From there on, Kelsey then graduated from smoking opiates to using heroin. For seven years, off and on, Kelsey was in and out of detox clinics, treatment centers, residential facilities, hospitals, and halfway houses. I was Kelsey’s biggest cheerleader; I loved, encouraged, and begged her to stop using and to try again. No matter how she felt I kept pushing her with God’s love and my own.
There was probably around seven or eight times I allowed Kelsey to live at home, but only if she promised she’d stay clean and not use. This privilege would end if she used drugs. Sadly, after a short stint at home, Kelsey started using again. I, unfortunately, had to ask her to leave - how that killed me to have my child leave without knowing where or who she would go to but the boundaries had to be put in place.
Kelsey had lost her father in March of 2011, which broke both her and her brothers’ hearts. I believe this intensified her drug use. Even though Kelsey said she was okay, she always had that big beautiful smile of hers that covered so much pain. Kelsey also miscarried her son, Mason, at four months along. This was devastating for her; the shame and guilt she carried was overwhelming.
In 2012, Kelsey was almost a year sober and living in an all-girls halfway house. There she built strong sober relationships and learned to manage her life and her addictions. She was working a full-time job at a café, which she really enjoyed and the customers loved her. I was so very proud and happy for her. Kelsey later left the halfway house and moved into an apartment with a friend, only to end three short months later after relapsing.
On December 17, 2014, at 6:10 a.m., I received a knock on my door from a policeman. He handed me a small piece of paper and told me to call the Lantana Police Department. I truly thought to myself, “Oh, Kelsey must have gotten into trouble.” The detective on the other end of the phone said, “Ma’am I’m sorry to tell you your daughter, Kelsey Suzanne Vaudreuil is deceased.” Kelsey passed away in a motel room - how that broke my heart. I’ll never know what truly happened that night, but the autopsy report said it was multiple intoxications, accidental overdose. Kelsey’s little frame just couldn’t handle any more poison but in God’s great Mercy, he took her home at 2:50 a.m. in that small motel room.
I mourn the loss of my daughter in this world but I’m am promised eternity with her and for that, I am truly grateful.
Drug use has plagued my family for years. Kelsey’s passing has changed mine, my family's, and friend’s lives forever. It’s a loss that I can never truly find the right words to express other than to say it’s a void in my heart that cannot be filled.
Addiction is a horrible disease and drugs don’t care anything about you. If you are in active drug use, please reach out! Don’t isolate yourself; there’s no shame. Remember, YOU ARE LOVED!