A mother kept her tragic loss to herself for over a year, until she was asked to speak at a local town hall meeting. She was assured maybe 15 to 20 people would show up, but when over 200 people came, Becky realized the impact her story could have on others.
Becky Savage is a mother of four from Indiana. When her two oldest sons, Jack and Nick returned from a night of celebrating at high school graduation parties, they checked in with their mom, Becky had been waiting up until her boys returned home at 12:30 am.
The following morning, Becky was picking up laundry in Jack’s room, when she noticed he was unresponsive. Jack was not acknowledging her as she tried to wake him up, Becky quickly realized that something was very wrong.
She called for her eldest son, Nick, who was sleeping in the basement with friends as she dialed 9-1-1.
Another victim of the opioid crisis
When the first responders arrived, they tried to resuscitate Jack. Becky’s memory began to blur as she noticed one of the responders also went downstairs to the basement.
The last thing Becky remembers was the first responder coming back up the stairs, asking his team to call a coroner.
That was the last thing Becky could remember from that day of June 14th, 2015.
A mother’s worst nightmare.
Both her eldest sons were pronounced dead. They had overdosed on prescription Hydrocodone painkillers mixed with alcohol. A peer at one of the graduation parties had passed around the prescription pills.
While Becky says her boys were never in trouble from drinking and drugs, it probably started with a good night and ended with a bad choice which cost both boys their lives.
It took over a year for Becky, her husband and two remaining sons to go public on this tragedy. When Becky was asked to speak at a local town hall meeting in regards to underage drinking, over 200 people showed up. Becky realized her story needed to hear.
The Savage family created something positive out of the pain that they endured. They formed the 525 Foundation, the name was found by the boys’ hockey numbers, 5 and 25.
Becky now estimates that she has spoken in front of 23,000 students. She was also invited to testify against the US Senate committee that is dealing with the opioid crisis. She’s determined to influence lawmakers to tighten their laws around prescription drugs while spreading awareness about drug abuse. https://www.youtube.com/embed/iwmCPqwDj_s
If you have kids living at home, go and clean out your medicine cabinet. Becky had talked to her boys about alcohol, but prescription drugs were never on her radar, and many communities are still unaware of the dangers.
The 525 Foundation is working to clean up their community, they’ve teamed up with local authorities to hold drop-offs, this way people can safely dispose of their unused prescription drugs, and prevent them from getting into vulnerable hands.
After just three events, the 525 Foundation has collected over 1,500 pounds of pills, helping curb the opioid crisis. Considering that one pill can take a life, that’s a big potential for lives saved.
While the 525 Foundation continues to spread their message, they’re working to protect other families, while Becky keeps her sons’ memories alive.
- ‘Woman lost 2 sons in one night to opioids; fighting the crisis is now her life’s work (CBC)’ CNN Ryan Bergeron. Published April 23, 2018.
- ‘The Hidden Dangers of Prescription Drug Use’ Green House Treatment Ryan Kelley, NREMT. Published January 3, 2020.