David Manlove, 16


photo of baseball plate

David was a popular kid who played baseball and excelled in school. When he was 13, he had already tried drinking and smoking pot. At 16, his drug and alcohol use had escalated.

His parents sought professional treatment for him at a local drug and alcohol treatment facility. While tentative at first, David did well in the program. He attended therapy, participated fully in discussions, publicly acknowledged that he was struggling with addiction, and began participating in Twelve-Step meetings.

By the time school ended in early June, David was looking forward to the summer. He found a job, earning money to buy a car and trying to win back some of his parents’ trust. But his continued desire to get high was very powerful, more powerful than anyone knew, even himself.

Months earlier, David had discovered he could get high by inhaling the propellant from computer duster and the chemical would not show up on drug screens routinely administered by the treatment facility.

On a warm, sunny Saturday the second week in June, he got up early, mowed the lawn, then went to his friend’s house to swim in the backyard pool. While there, they began inhaling the propellant from a computer duster while standing in the pool's shallow end. In order to intensify the high, David began diving underwater while inhaling the propellant. However, after the third or fourth time, he didn't come back up.

His friend pulled David out of the water. Paramedics arrived within minutes and began desperate attempts to revive him. They rushed him to a nearby hospital while continuing CPR. However, the toxic chemical in the propellant had frozen David's lungs and interrupted the electrical activity of his heart, putting him into cardiac arrest. After almost an hour of life-saving efforts, his parents asked the team to stop, and they did.

Father loses son to addiction, ends up in recovery himself and then ...