No one goes to Starbucks expecting to find a dead body. But shocked customers in British Columbia found themselves face-to-face with a nightmare when 16-year-old Gwynevere Staddon’s body was discovered in the bathroom. What was found next to her made her death even more tragic.
Staddon had struggled with addiction for some time, and her mother, Veronica, had desperately tried to get help for her beautiful daughter. Before she died, Staddon had stopped using for three weeks. “I’ve quit, so I’m OK now, Mom,” Veronica said Staddon had told her. But the pull of addiction was too hard for her to resist. “It was calling out her name, and so she thought, ‘One more time.’ The one more time was the very last time.”
Veronica had tried to get help for her daughter, looking into rehab facilities. But there are wait lists in Canada to use a public facility, and the private facilities were too expensive. “If I don’t have $50,000 available, then they are not something I can use as a resource,” she explained. So now, she’s left to grieve her daughter. While an official cause of death hasn’t yet been determined, Veronica believes that her daughter died from an overdose of fentanyl.
“My best friend, my daughter, my sweetheart baby … I will never stop missing you,” she wrote on Facebook. “My heart won’t stop breaking.” Now, she’s looking to the future, wanting to see more done to get drug dealers off the streets, and to make rehabilitation more accessible for people struggling with addiction. Staddon’s death is tragic enough on its own, but the fact that help was out of reach for this family is inexcusable.
Rest in peace, Gwynevere.
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