Kayla's Story

By Donna Kelley

"Her light will shine on..."

On August 24th, 2012 my husband and I heard the words no parent should ever have to hear.

Returning what we thought were several missed calls from our daughter Kayla, the voice on the other end wasn’t what we expected. The police department informed us our daughter was found unresponsive and was taken to Twin Cities Hospital. Just minutes away we drove, all the while like I’m sure most would do, you’re thinking ok this is not good but we will get her through whatever and things will be alright. As we ran into the hospital we were taken into a side room where the nurse so kindly let us know our daughter had been down a long time, I just remember hitting the floor, still thinking this is not good but we wanted to see her and be with her and all would be okay in time. I just remember walking past the curtains into where she was, the Dr. was just walking away.” We did all we could”, She says. At that moment I felt the life be sucked out of me, I was numb from head to toe, this was a nightmare, not Kayla, not my child, NOT MY CHILD! As we stood there caressing her hair, kissing her, looking over every part of my babies body just lying there, so still, so quiet, so lifeless, while the whole time thinking how do I tell her three brothers, who at the time were 27, 18 and 9. How do I tell her aunt and cousins and hundreds of friends who grew up with her, her whole life right here in the same town? This is the nightmare many parents fear and the one club no parent ever wants to join. I had lost my baby girl, my child, and part of my heart that can never be replaced! Later the story of what happened unfolded. She had headed to slo with so-called friends. Ending up at a house to party. Kayla’s blood alcohol was very high and she had a major overdose of Morphine in her system which we later learned how. It was then learned that one of the individuals she had been with all night was known to have had morphine pills. She was transported the next morning after not being able to be awakened, carried into the car, and drove 30-40 minutes to her house in Atascadero. She was carried in and left in her bed. A roommate came in but shortly after seeing Kayla went to bed. Only for another roommate to wake an hour later to find her unresponsive. Sadly this only added to our heartbreak, to know she could have been saved if just one of many had just made the call or taken her to the hospital instead of leaving her in her bed. What? Oh to sleep it off!

"She was always full of life..."

Kayla was born May 28, 1988. She grew up her entire life in Templeton Ca., leaving to attend San Marco College and Fresno State. She was studying for a Criminology degree.

She was always full of life and the light of everyone’s life. She was loved by everyone who met her and had so many lifelong friends she literally grew up since birth with. She was so athletic playing t-ball, softball, soccer, and some cheerleading, but would have much rather been playing football. She loved animals and would help anyone in need. She also had a wonderful sense of humor. Loved the spotlight and her light will shine in so many forever.

Her three brothers live each day with a huge missing part of them. I once read that a sibling who has lost another sibling has lost not only a big part of their past but a part big part of their present and future. My heart breaks over and over for their loss as much as ours.

So I don’t tell you this to be cruel, make you cry, though I’m sure most are. I tell you in hope of saving another family from this pain and life. Every day I hear of another and then another life that is gone due to drugs and/or alcohol. Events that can be prevented and changed in future lives.

If you leave with nothing more than feeling it’s just another sad story, she put herself in that situation, stupid kids, please don’t think it  WON’T HAPPEN TO MY FAMILY! We thought the same thing.