Family shares grief after son dies of drug overdose on streets of Small Town BC

A family is calling for more resources to prevent unnecessary deaths in the community from toxic drug overdoses.

“Something has to be done,” said Stormy Narcisse, who chose to speak out despite the difficulty of sharing what her family has been going through in recent weeks.

“There has to be something to help our young people, even if they say no, they need a place to go.”

Stormy Narcisse is living a mother’s worst nightmare when she had to make the difficult decision earlier this month to take her son, Jordan Williams, 30, off life support.

“The hardest thing for a mom is having to make a choice,” says Narcisse, who herself found herself in distress when stress triggered what they thought could be a heart attack. She had only lost her mother a month earlier and her son’s godmother died just a few days before her son.

On the morning of November 8, 2022, Jordan Williams was found unconscious in downtown Williams Lake. He was given CPR until paramedics arrived and was taken to hospital and put on a ventilator.

Williams was sent to Kamloops where he was further assessed and his family waited by his side. Doctors didn’t believe his brain was functioning properly, the family recalls.

When the doctors took him out of anesthesia, he started having seizures.

Narcisse made the difficult choice to take her son’s life and the tubes were removed on November 16. She stayed with him all night and in the morning he was gone.

Jordan Williams was pronounced dead on the morning of November 17. His family said the toxicology report found methamphetamine and fentanyl in his system.

“Everyone needs to know where the pain is, with the family,” Narcisse said of their desire to help educate people about the consequences of deaths from toxic drugs.

He left behind two brothers, two sisters and a large group of extended family and friends, many of whom he called sister and brother.

“Jordan was an outgoing, kind-hearted, respectful, young fellow,” Narcisse described of her son.

But she said drugs had changed him.

He had struggled in the past and had gone to Smithers this summer, where she believed he had been living in a tent with his partner for months.

She said Williams had hoped to attend treatment, but the waiting list was long in the area and it was difficult for him and his partner to attend together, which they hoped.

He and his partner returned from Smithers to stay with Narcisse at Riske Creek, after returning with the announcement that he wanted to go to the Gateway Stabilization Unit and attend Renner House, a short-term resource withdrawal program in Williams Lake.

But when he came back, he was pale, thin, paranoid, and couldn’t sit still.

“It wasn’t him,” Narcisse said.

“They weren’t normal, they were up all night running around outside. They had stories that made no sense. They left all the lights on in the house,” recalls Narcisse, who struggled to control them on the job.

Just three days before his fatal overdose, Jordan Williams had overdosed on naloxone, his family said, and was taken to a “situation table” to try to help him.

She wants less hurdles and paperwork and no waiting to get people the help they need.

“Jordan, he grew up in a good house, and it doesn’t matter what kind of house you grow up in,” said his aunt Violet Fuller, noting the struggles that go on around a person or maybe the wrong people can bring them in.

“He had a loving home,” she said.

Jordan Williams’ service was held on November 25 at Tl’esqox Community Hall. Friends, family and community members had also gathered on November 16 at Spirit Square in Williams Lake, near where Williams was found, to drum, pray and sing during a candlelight vigil.

So far this year, paramedics have reported 143 overdoses in Williams Lake. Throughout 2021, they responded to a total of 117. Quesnel paramedics reported responding to 157 overdoses in 2021. Williams Lake RCMP also reported responding to a “sharp increase” in medical calls this year.

The BC Coroner’s Service reported 10 deaths in 2021 in Williams Lake due to toxic drugs, and 15 from January to September so far in 2022, while Quesnel had 11 deaths in 2021 and four so far in 2022.


ruth.lloyd@wltribune.com
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