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Mother warns Trinity students of alcohol, pill use

Becky Savage, public speaker, tells students of Trinity Junior High and High School about her sons who died from overdosing on alcohol and oxycodone. Kayla Henson / The Dickinson Press

"I was gathering laundry out of Jack's room," said Becky Savage, a public speaker addressing an auditorium full of young listeners. "I remember looking at him while he was sleeping and thinking he looked like an angel sleeping. Little did I know the prophecy that thought would hold for me that day. ... I walked over to his bed to awaken him, and those next few moments are what still haunt me to this day. You see, I'm a nurse. I've been trained in saving people's lives, and that day I could not perform my job as a nurse, or as a mother. My son was lifeless."

Savage told students at Trinity Junior High and High School on Monday the story of her eighteen-year-old son, Jack, and his nineteen-year-old brother, Nick. They died on the same night, both having overdosed on alcohol and oxycodone consumed at a graduation party.

The auditorium was a sea of red, silent save for the sound of sniffles as Savage played a video for students in tribute to her sons, complete with heartfelt recollections from their friends of when they heard the news.

"It was really emotional for me," eighth-grader Abbygail Linker said. "It spreads a really good message."

Her reaction, and the reaction of the student body as a whole, was fairly standard for Savage.

"They all kind of react the same," said Savage. "They're all real quiet. I tried to show them that (video) cause I know with kids, you have to hit that emotional core with them, otherwise they're not gonna remember it.

"Usually, I don't ever get questions," she added, "because they're still shell-shocked from the video, but afterwards I'll get messages sent to me, or the counselor's office is a little bit busier."

After the presentation, students left the auditorium to pose for a picture, standing to form three shapes: a J for Jack, an N for Nick and a heart. They will make a canvas out of the photo and present it to her.