Updated: Sep 21, 2020
By Tyler's mom, Kris
Tyler Lee Burkey
My son, Tyler, was 23 years old when he passed away from a heroin overdose on December 18, 2015. My family knows more about heroin now than we did when Tyler was alive and actively using. Tyler was the oldest of my three children and the last person I would have thought would use heroin.
Growing up, Tyler had a laid back personality that continued into his adult years. He enjoyed sports, especially playing football and weightlifting. He also enjoyed gaming with his brother and friends.
We did start to notice changes in his personality about a year prior to his death, but we had no idea what was causing the changes. For example, Tyler began to pawn many of his belongings. I knew something was going on when this began, but whenever I questioned him about it, Tyler just said that he wanted money so he could go out and have a good time with his friends. The funny thing was that Tyler rarely went out with his friends. We had our suspicions that he was using some sort of drug, but again, when we questioned him or offered him help, he would deny any drug use and would tell us that he was fine and didn’t need any help.
The afternoon of December 18th, while I was at work, I received a text message from my daughter. She believed Tyler had overdosed and said that an ambulance was at the house. I tried desperately to text and call her and my husband, but they would not answer me. A co-worker offered to drive me home when I received the text that he died. I crumbled. Tyler was my baby boy, the one I thought would go far in life, the one who was so responsible.
We do not know what made Tyler decide to use heroin. There are so many questions that we will never have the answers to.