May 15, 2013 is the day my life changed forever. At 0344 AM I received a telephone call from our oldest son Zachary to inform me that our son Nathaniel (Natey as I affectionately nicknamed him as a baby) had died as a result of a heroin overdose. Nothing has been the same since...
There is not a day that goes by that I dont think about Natey. When I walk past a box of Fruity Pebbles in the grocery store my eyes well up with tears. Losing Natey is without a doubt the hardest thing that I have ever had to deal with. I wondered "What could I have done differently"? , "Should I have been more strict"?, "Should I have been more lenient"?
For almost a year I spent many hours and days asking myself what could I have done that would have changed the outcome of Natey's Life.
On May 15, 2014, the 1st anniversary of the death of my beautiful and gifted son, I continued to look for answers. Not just with Natey's life and death, but with my own life. I had this feeling of emptiness, even though on paper, I had it all. I had a GREAT wife and Kids. I had a solid career, wonderful friends. I lived near the beach. I got myself and my family involved in the Journey Church and was enjoying the Men's Fraternity there... But deep down, something was missing.
Then, for reasons I don't know, I found myself reading Ephesians chapter 5 on the Bible app on my phone. Ephesians? No Idea why... Chapter 5 ? Well, I guess it was May, so perhaps that explains that.
May 14, 2014, I had this overwhelming feeling there was to be good from Natey's passing. Perhaps I needed to help other parents so that they won't have to endure the pain of losing a child to drugs. Perhaps, I was being called to help mentor young adults and remind them that in every situation there is a right choice and a wrong choice.
I did know for certain, that this was my opportunity to become a better Dad, Friend, and Husband.
But did not know what to do or how to do it.
That was the start of Natey's Place.
Where small groups of faith-based, like-minded people can Connect, Grow and Apply what they learn to make better choices, kids, parents, community, and world.
Ken and Laurie Byrns
Fernandina Beach FL
Our life changed forever on February 11, 2012 when we lost our beloved son Benjamin Thomas Byrns, as a result of a accidental prescription drug overdose. Every parent wants to believe this won’t happen to them, but it can.
We have created The Ben Byrns Foundation with the mission of striving to educate and guide young adults to make good choices in their lives. We are committed to helping as many families as possible to avoid the unbearable pain and grief that will be with us the rest of our lives.
Drugs do not discriminate, they grab hold of the lives of the rich and poor, young and old, black and white. Drug abuse is a disease that affects every walk of life.
The good news is anyone can recover with help.
Ben was 20 years old at the time of his death. He was an avid surfer, aircraft enthusiast, and loved animals.