Jarrod Tyler Polston (December 27, 1991- September 11, 2010)
A vibrant 18 year old, embarking off to college, excited for what the future holds, anticipating that day when he can be a doctor and take care of others. From the time he was 12 years old Jarrod knew he wanted to help people, he wanted to be a doctor. At the age of 16, he shadowed a top worldwide known physician at the Indiana University School of Medicine. A Bio-chemistry and pre-med major in college, Jarrod was only in school for a mere 5 weeks before his life ended on September 11, 2010 because of an accidental overdose of Methadone.. Those dreams, never to become a reality, a life lost to a wrong decision made at the wrong time.
On September 10, 2010, I drove to pick Jarrod up from college. He was having a get together with all of his high school football buddies who had dispersed to various schools across the U.S. The first chance they had gotten to all see each other since school started. The evening was planned they would all meet at our home and Jarrod would then drive to one of their other buddies college to have a night of fun. Everyone arrived and Jarrod’s car departed the house. I gave him a big hug and said “Jarrod be safe, be good.” He said, “Momma I will.” Little did I know at that time those would be the last words I heard my son speak.
The next morning, I woke up to a bustling Saturday morning full of activities with Jarrod’s brother. At 9am my cell phone rang. It was a call no parent ever wants to receive. It was my son’s best friend he said, “momma, Jarrod isn’t doing so well.” I said, “What do you mean he isn’t doing so well, is he ok?” “Is he breathing, if not you have to do CPR!” During that brief few seconds on the phone the paramedics arrived I could hear them in the background, and one of the paramedics got on the phone. They asked if Jarrod had any allergies or was on any medication. My reply stated NO, he is a healthy 18 year old boy. I was told to get to the hospital immediately which was an hour and a half away from home.
Upon arriving to the hospital, I entered the Emergency room, was escorted through the double doors and met immediately by a tall doctor in scrubs. I looked up at him and I said “he’s gone isn’t he.” His words were echoing in my head, and still do today. “he said, yes ma’am he is gone.” My life was forever changed in that split second.
Having learned what transpired the night preceding Jarrod’s death, he took 3-4 Methadone pills that he obtained from a drug dealer. Jarrod had not taken drugs before, but his friends knew that he had taken Methadone. But no one knew the effects of Methadone, or what it would do to your body or the warning signs of a Methadone overdose. His friends didn’t know Jarrod needed help. If they would have called 911 and gotten help Jarrod would be here today, they were scared.
In the weeks preceding Jarrod’s death, recognizing the lack of information and education around prescription drugs Marty recognized the need to make teens and young adults, as well as parents aware of these dangers and the growing epidemic of prescription drug use in the community. The Indiana Lifeline Law now covers drugs as well as alcohol and grants immunity to those who call for help and stay with the person needing help.
Jarrod, was a vibrant, intelligent, athletic young man, with a charismatic personality that everyone wanted to be around. I am sure he never thought by taking a few pills that he wouldn’t wake up the next morning when he laid down that night to go to bed. If Jarrod would have had an opportunity to share this experience and would have lived he would say to his peers, “Make Good Decisions” it is the choice in one split second that can change your life and those lives around you forever.
Even though only here on Earth for a short while Jarrod impacted and changed more lives than most of us will within our lifetime. Jarrod was so many things to so many people, and to his mom, Marty, he was everything a son should be and more. Jarrod you are loved and missed so very much.