Sam Thacker has seen too much pain in his short 16 years of life.
Earlier this year, he watched as a friend was stabbed. That friend lived.
Last Friday, he watched a friend overdose on a methamphetamine known as Molly. That friend lived.
A few hours later, he watched another friend overdose on the same type of methamphetamine. That friend died.
Sam spoke with KTW because he wanted people to know Adison Davies, his friend who died, “was awesome.”
Adison was 16 and attended NorKam senior secondary.
“They don’t know what they’re taking and who they’re buying it from,” Sam said, adding he hopes his speaking out will scare others into not making the same decision his two friends did.
Sam was among 30 friends who headed to Kelowna last weekend for the Center of Gravity music and sports festival.
He said the first day of the three-day festival — Friday — was fun, with a main stage full of bands from mid-morning through to the early evening.
At some point during the day, Sam said his friend told him he and Adison had obtained some drugs from a person at the festival.
“A few hours later, he was shaking and he came over to me and said, ‘I need help. I need help,’” Sam said.
Sam and others got the friend to the first-aid tent, where a team of doctors, nurses and paramedics went to work immediately. An ambulance was stationed nearby.
“They hit him with something,” Sam said, likely an injection of Naloxone, which is used to temporarily reverse an overdose from opioids. His friend is heavier and stronger, which Sam suspects helped the teen react positively to the medical intervention.
A short time later, Sam and his girlfriend went to check on the friend, to be sure he was fine — and saw Adison being carried into the medical tent by two paramedics.
The medical team tried to save her and she was rushed to Kelowna General Hospital, where she died.
Sam said he and his girlfriend went to the hospital on Sunday and talked with the doctors and paramedics.
“They said they did all they could,” he said. “They really worked hard to keep her alive.”
Just 16, Adison graduated from NorKam early and planned to enter Thompson River University in the fall to study psychology and sociology. She had also talked about a career in medicine. She had worked two jobs to save enough money to buy a car.
Sam knew her since they were both in Grade 8 and said she had “a really caring soul.”
At some point, Sam plans to sit down and talk with the friend who lived. He said the teen doesn’t remember much about the incident and Sam wants him to know how close he came to dying.
“It’s so hard for people to understand,” he said. “I was shook. Damn, I just saw someone OD before me, someone you know is five feet in front of you and you can’t do anything. Seeing it first-hand and hearing about it second-hand, it’s different.
“It changes you.”
On Sunday night, the teens returned to the site of the festival. They were getting ready to come back to Kamloops and, as they stood there, Sam’s girlfriend turned to him.
“I see Adison everywhere,” she said.