Posted by Maria Mangicaro
Clearwater, FL: At four separate locations across the state of Florida Third Annual Candlelight Vigil in Memory of Gabriel Myers and the Right to Informed Consent took place last night. The vigil honors the memory of 7-year-old Gabriel Myers who apparently committed suicide by hanging himself in the residence of his foster parents while on several psychiatric medications. Hosted by Dr. Elizabeth Young and the Citizens Commission of Human Rights of Florida, hundreds of participants attended the Clearwater vigil.
While there are many controversial issues that created divided mental health advocacy agendas, the issue of the overuse of psychiatric medications is one in need of a unified alliance.
Concerned child advocates in Florida have a watchful eye on the bill proposed by Florida State Senator Ronda Storms. SB 1808: Provision of Psychotropic Medication to Children in Out-of-home Placements, is working its way through the state legislature and if passed would help protect children in foster care from being placed on harmful psychotropic medications. The bill would place tighter controls on the DCF making it so a compelling state interest must be shown before a child is medicated.
States are required under the Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovations Act of 2011 to amend their Title IV-B state plan to identify appropriate use and monitoring of psychotropic medications, as part of the state’s current oversight of prescription medications. (Social Security Act Sections 422 (b)(15)(A)(ii)and (v).
Among the powerful speeches at the vigil, Walter Kowalczyk Jr. gave a heartbreaking testimony regarding the harmful ADHD medications prescribed to his son Tyler. The ADHD medications induced sudden cardiac arrest and Tyler passed away on Christmas night, 2010.
In an effort to help others to make informed decision when choosing ADHD medications, Walter founded the Tyler Kowalczyk Foundation. The Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan group whose mission is to provide good information to the public about the dangers of the use of stimulant ADHD medication and the misdiagnosis of the disorder.
You can learn more about the Tyler Kowalczyk Foundation at: www.ADHDecide.org
Prescription Addiction Radio Show host, Larry G, attended the vigil and introduced me to the show which airs every Sunday Night from 9 – 11 PM EST
As a registered pharmacist for over 30 years, Larry is Breaking the Silence about the quiet epidemic affecting our country.
“The Prescription Addiction Radio Show is a challenge to America to discuss the culture in our country that has evolved into accepting the silent epidemic that has created a growing number of people who cannot get through their day without an addictive or psychologically mind altering drug. The show also addresses the increasing number of drugs children are being given and has developed into a unique radio show for all ages.”
Walter read this beautiful poem last night. Holding back the tears was pretty tough for everyone in the crowd.
One Step Closer
By: Walter Kowalczyk Jr.
I spent some time thinking about some of the things we shared,
Reminiscing about stuff, I almost could feel you there,
I picked up your shirt and held it close n wept,
I went and laid in your old bed where you slept,
I kissed a picture of you and started to cry,
Puzzled at why you are gone, I can’t understand why,
I listened to song, I had not heard in so long,
I knew you would like it, and try to sing along,
I wish I can share everything with you like before,
I wish I buy you everything at one of your favorite stores,
As the tears drop, and my world is continuing to fall,
I know in my heart that you were the meaning of it all,
I feel like I let you down, I wish I could have known,
I am very sorry that I let that poison in our home,
I love you Tyler, it’s getting late,
With your death and our fight I have a lot on my plate,
Daddy is going to stay busy, but you will always be near,
I am the one driving the road of life but I’ll let you steer,
Whisper to me gently in every breeze of air
Touch me with your light and let me know you’re there,
God blesses us sometimes in ways we can’t reason,
We cannot desert him, for that would be treason,
He is our father, our protector, our guide,
Sit back, hold on tight, cuz its going to be a bumpy ride,
You got to skip, all this tough stuff, warped ahead
You got to go right to the end of the game instead,
YOU WIN! High score! You are number one!
You are not only mine, but you are also Jesus’ son,
He will watch over you, until I get there,
Tyler and Dad in heaven, nothing could compare!
We can play all day everyday now,
You won’t need school u know everything anyhow,
I won’t waste time with the things I did,
No time for anything else, just me and my kid,
Does that sound good? Do we have a date?
Cuz I am looking forward and I simply cannot wait!
So I am going to sleep now to dream of you and me,
Playing in heaven, being just as happy as we can be,
When I wake up I will be one step closer,
For Heaven awaits me, when this world has closure,
Good night Tyler Kowalczyk, a.k.a. Tyler the Great!
Until we meet for our eternal heavenly play date..-Dad
Please visit www.tyler-k.com where you will find: a biography, pictures, movies, all of the artwork he did over the years, home videos, sound clips he recorded on his Dsi that he got for his last Christmas, and got to play with on his last day on earth, a memorial musical slideshow, a place to light a tribute candle, poems written about Tyler after he left this world, a memorial shop for you to order Tyler merch, and links and information about what happened to Tyler and what you can do to make sure it never happens to your child.