On December 30, 2014, my daughter Megan died from a heroin overdose at the age of 26, while waiting for an opening at a drug treatment program in Massachusetts. Like most of our children who struggle with substance use disorder and addiction, she lived her life full of hopes and dreams, wanting to love, be loved and feel valued.
Megan’s fight with addiction started at age 17 and lasted nine years. Each time she relapsed, she would seek help through different treatment programs. When Megan was in these various treatment programs, she received compassionate and professional care. Megan told me several times that when she was in recovery, she wanted to go to school and learn how to help people, because of the help she received. As time went on, and as the opiate addiction became a national epidemic, it became almost impossible find a bed open in a drug treatment program.
In December 2014, I signed a purchase and sale agreement to buy the vacant Riverside School and adjacent land in Lowell, Massachusetts. It was my hope that Megan and others struggling with addiction would always have a place to go to when needed. On Tuesday, January 6, 2015, the day after Megan’s funeral, I closed on the property. After the closing, as I was driving away from my attorney’s office, I pulled over to the side of the road and cried. I was angry at God, angry at the system that failed my daughter and angry at the world. I was remorseful and, most of all, I was heartbroken. My baby girl was gone. Several months after Megan’s death I continued with my plans to open a residential treatment home for women. Megan’s House opened its doors on September 30, 2015.
The Megan House Foundation serves as the administrative and fundraising arm of Megan’s House. All services provided at Megan’s House are funded through private donations and grants and are provided at no cost to the residents. Through your help and generosity, I am hopeful that the hopes and dreams of other young women can be realized and that they too can know that they are truly loved and valued.
Through the love and support of family and friends, I learned that although a parent doesn’t recover from the loss of a child, the importance and significance of that child’s life can always have meaning. The last words I said to Megan the night before she died were, “I love you Meg.” I still do.
With warmest regards,