Updated: May 31
By Nicky's mom, Carrie
Nicholas Daniel Toth V
Pagosa Springs, Colorado
Our first born son, Nicholas Daniel Toth V, was born on December 27, 1995 in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. We wished and prayed for Nicky. He was a miracle as far as we were concerned - we literally smothered the poor kid. I remember multiple days where my husband and I would have contests to see who could kiss him the most in a given day. Nicky was our shining star. Never in my life did I ever think we would only have 19 years with him.
Our family was blessed with two more sons, Jackson and Harrison. Life was perfect. We were raising our sons in a beautiful mountain town. We volunteered tirelessly in our community. As parents, we didn’t just go to every sporting event our boys had, we coached them. I was a Cub Scout leader, a county fair board member and president, a classroom mom, a member of the church vestry, and a PTA member. You name it and we did it for our boys. They ate organic foods and planted their own gardens. Life was effortless and delightful.
All of this changed one awful night when Nicky was in 6th grade and sexually violated by one of his peers. After that my beautiful son was never the same. That same boy went on to bully Nicky and the school district did nothing. We received no community or school support. Our family felt abandoned but Nicky felt it the most. Following that year, we decided as a family to move back east to New Jersey in order to be closer to friends and family where we felt we could get the most support, and more importantly, save our Nicholas.
Unfortunately, that one awful night shaped Nicky’s teenage path. Nick didn’t talk about it; he wouldn’t and couldn’t. Instead, he started self-medicating--beginning with alcohol and marijuana. From there Nick moved to Xanax that he got from other parent’s medicine cabinets. Then, he discovered the love of his life, heroin.
Our family was in turmoil. Nicky was in and out of rehabs and jail. He missed multiple holidays. He wanted nothing more than to be happy and healthy.
During his active addiction, Nicky was in jail from January 2014 to June 2014 and again from July 2014 to February 2015. He finally came home on March 20, 2015. We had our baby back. Our entire family was so hopeful but also scared. He was at least safe while in jail. Nick participated in outpatient programs and got a job. We had no idea he started using again.
In April 2015, Nicky overdosed in our home. I had an eery feeling something wasn’t right. I saved him that night but I’ll never forget how he sounded. Nicky’s breathing was labored and his lips turned blue. I was smacking his face so hard and rubbing his chest. Once he started coming around, I just kept kissing him on his lips like I did when he was little. Nick lived to see another day.
Following the night he overdosed, Nick went to inpatient rehab at Seabrook House in South New Jersey. We were so hopeful because Nicky completed his 30 day program and organized himself into a sober living home. The person in charge said he had never had such a tenacious applicant. Nicky was ready to start his life. He lived in the house for two weeks.
On Friday, June 12th, I went to see him after work and took him to dinner. I kissed his face and hugged his big shoulders. We laughed together for the last time. On the morning of June 14th, the local police came to our home to inform us that we lost our son. He was found in Newark. He was all alone.
Heroin stole my baby, our son, our brother, our friend, our amazing boy. In the end, heroin won. Nicky used to say heroin made him finally feel normal and confidant. My only solace is that Nicky has finally found the peace he was so desperately searching for.
My mission as a mother is to not let heroin win and destroy another family. We are in this fight together. I will not let my child’s death be in vain.
Rest in Peace our baby.
Nicholas Daniel Toth V: December 27, 1995- June 13 or 14, 2015.
Please join our family in the battle against heroin/opiate addiction. Visit our foundation we formed in Nicky’s honor: https://www.ndtfoundation.com