Chronicle of A Failed Suicide Attempt


Well-Known Member
As promised I am beginning a new thread to mark the next phase of our journey with my Younger Stepson (YS). I will continue using that nickname for him.

Many of you know that YS was not the "troubled child" in our family. That distinction went to his older brother, Difficult Stepson or DS. And as such it was DS who commanded the interventions, the therapy and support which ultimately had little effect on him. YS was in the background most of the time. He was quiet and kept to himself, and did his best to escape the many dramas circulating around DS.

I must also say here, to remind myself as well as explain to all of you, that in many ways YS was the light of our family. DS is much brighter intellectually; YS was the life of the party. He was funny, irreverent, and almost kinetic with his energy. He loved to clown and make us all laugh, and he was a master of the one-line zinger. He was, and is, absolutely adored and beloved by everyone.

I had a special relationship with YS as our temperaments and personalities were similar. Unlike his older brother who was always aloof, YS desperately craved mothering and I did my best to provide that to him. He always seemed somewhat younger than his age because he sought out hugs and cuddles well into his tweens.

We are both sensitive and the issues in the family affected him more than he let on. He was the truth teller in the family, and he recognized the many layers of dysfunction that characterized his young life. He was brave and honest, but it didn't pay off for him. Unfortunately, the adults who could have done something to address his valid concerns and complaints, never did. When pushed "I'm good" was his standard response and because DS was so often in crisis, it was easiest for us to accept him at his word.

Now, in the midst of the worst kind of tragedy, it is obvious to that YS was much more deeply troubled than we ever knew, and he needed much more attention than he received. He made a suicidal statement in school last spring, and it was reported to us. He was taken for therapy but glossed it over.

Unfortunately it may now be too late for YS to receive that kind of attention.

To summarize for those who may not have read my previous thread detailing this situation, after apparently debating for about a day, on Labor Day evening around 9:00 pm, YS texted his girlfriend, wrote a suicide note (which contained no specific reason for his decision), and consumed what we now understand to be 50 tablets of a calcium channel blocker prescribed to his father, called Cardiazem (the generic name is long and I always misspell it so I am using the brand name here). He was honest and told his girlfriend what he had done. She contacted her mother who called the police, who picked up YS and took him to the hospital. He was eventually transferred to a leading children's hospital in our area which saved his life more than once.

The medication slowed his blood pressure to practically nothing and eventually caused cardiac arrest. He was clinically dead for a short time. He received CPR which kept him going long enough for him to be placed on life support. He remained on life support for six days.

At present he is still in the pediatric ICU, being weaned off a ventilator and receiving treatment for continuing arrhythmias in his heart, for which he is receiving treatment. Early neurological signs are not encouraging thus far. He is displaying very primitive brainstem reflexes, but little else. Once he is completely weaned from the mind-bending narcotics and paralytic drugs he has been on since his admission, his current neurological status will be more clear. If they were to give him a neurological diagnosis today he would be considered to be in a coma.

I am preparing for a poor prognosis. I have been reading the stories of other families online and apparently many times, given enough care and months/years of rehab, poor prognoses can turn into more positive outcomes. It is possible to eventually emerge from a vegetative state into something more human. So this is helpful.

He is having a brain MRI today. After he is physically stable, he will be transferred to another facility. A best case scenario would be rehab. A worst case scenario would be a nursing home.

He succeeded in murdering who he was. The question is who he will be. If there is even a small piece of him left after this ordeal I will celebrate.

I will continue to update this thread. Thank you all.


100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

Reading your story literally was chilling. I can't even imagine how difficult this is for all of you that love him.

How tragic for all. I do hope and pray that God will send you a miracle for YS.

Cyber hugs.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
What a terrible heart is so heavy reading your story.....I am so sorry......sending you warm, gentle hugs...... and prayers for a miracle for this young boy.....Holding you all in my heart.


Well-Known Member
I hope and pray he surprises everyone. My thoughts are with all of you. Please find a little time to update us as things evolve. We all care very much.
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Well-Known Member
This is hard to deal with on any level. Try to remember that all of the chapters have not been written. His story has taken many twists and turns and each time he has risen above what might have been expected.


Active Member
Culturanta my heart is breaking for you. I have no platitudes and don't think you want to hear any. Peace. You continue to be in my heart.

And although all of our drugs are locked up in a safe, I have been warning friends again to do the same. I had done this for a while after we were told to keep them under lock and key. But it needs to be said to families because it's not something that most people would consider a risk.


pigless in VA

Well-Known Member
culturanta, I am a member of several survivors of suicides groups on facebook. You can private message me if you feel it would be helpful. It is extremely difficult for most people to discuss suicide. There is a need for people to keep talking and many listeners become overwhelmed with emotion and find continued support to be draining.

I remember that several months after my husband died, Ferb was having a lot of trouble at school. I used to wait at the bus stop with a group of parents. I was talking about whatever it was that Ferb was doing at the time. This one man asked something like "is he being bullied at school?" I responded honestly that his father had literally gone crazy and died by suicide. My two lady friends who were also there gasped in horror that I would dare to utter the truth of what happened.

Love and strength for your continued journey.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
Cultaranta.....there are support groups for parents specific to suicide, it may be prudent at some point to avail yourselves to those supports. The hospital may be able to steer you in that direction. You might also call NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness to see if they can guide you to resources and support. When my son-in-law committed suicide, it was a tremendous help to attend those groups, it helped to pave the way back for me.

You are all in my thoughts and prayers,


Well-Known Member
Unfortunately, there are few resources for families of loved ones who have merely attempted suicide. It seems that the “club” of support for suicide survivors is closed to families whose loved ones survived their attempts. If anyone knows of welcoming resources for families whose loved ones survived I would love to know about them.

One very bright ray of hope.

His brain MRI was NORMAL.


Long road but the path ahead holds hope.
I am so very hopeful for you your YS and the family. A normal MRI is a step in the right direction.

May I send you 10 fold the courage and understanding you have given to so many. Me being one such lucky recipient.

Prayers for all of you.


Well-Known Member
I have been reading your updates and glad to see signs of hope when you post. I can't imagine what all of you gave done thru. Prayers for continued improvement. Ksm