Carly Ann

Carly Anne Sananes

Tragic loss of a beautiful, but broken, soul who is forever in our hearts.

Carly was described by her mother, Tina, as “a beautiful soul with a gigantic heart, not defined by her addiction, but tragically, defeated by it.” Carly was funny and silly with a rambunctious laugh. As a child, she was precocious. She loved to role play with her Barbie dolls or do comedy skits with her cousins and younger siblings, Jenna and Danny. She was good at doing impressions and cracking up the family by making up silly stories using Rugrats characters.

In elementary and middle school Carly was active in cheerleading, gymnastics, and softball. She was known for standing up against bullies and protecting their victims, and she was interested, at that time, in becoming a special needs teacher. The family has cherished memories of times at Sanibel Island, the Florida Keys, and other Florida attractions such as Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and Disney World.

In recent years Carly won a contest for Schwarzkopf hair care, receiving a trip to California and a modeling shoot. She had a strong interest in attending Boca Beauty Academy to become an esthetician. Two years before she died, she did the work necessary to get baptized and was passionate about her faith and her church. Her greatest dream was to have a family and become a mom.

Carly suffered from several mental health issues: ADHD, Bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression, and borderline personality disorder. “Having all these conditions made navigating life extremely difficult for her,” Tina said. ‘She reached out for help over and over but in the end, the disease(s) took her life.’ The most difficult part for the family was the personality changes, the worrying, and never being confident that Carly could overcome her challenges. “Since Carly’s passing, it is hard to hold on to hope,” Tina said.

Though Carly and her mother were close, their relationship could be tumultuous. Times of Carly’s active addiction were difficult, and recovery was unpredictable. Her mom was always fearful that Carly could overdose or be murdered because of her drug involvement. “I tried to get her the help she needed every time. Now that she has passed, it is me that needs the help,” her mom stated.

Tina never hid Carly’s substance use disorder (SUD). She said, “It is a genuine mental health condition that has been stigmatized by the public far too long.” Carly wanted to beat her SUD. She was making changes but ran out of time. “Carly would be alive today if it were not for fentanyl; like so many others, she did not die of an overdose but from fentanyl poisoning,” Tina stated.

“Life will never be the same without my first-born beautiful child,” Tina said. ‘My family is shattered into a million pieces. It is a mystery if we will ever be able to put it back together. But we will continue to try in her honor.’

Carly’s mother, Tina Sananes, provided the information for this narrative.

November 12, 1994-April 17, 2021

Age 26-Lived with the disease of addiction for approximately 10 years

Share this story from The INTO LIGHT Project

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

More Into Light Stories

Read more biographies from this exhibit.
Devin Hart Bearden

Devin Hart Bearden

Caring, athletic, bright, witty, attractive At 6’2”, Devin was lanky, handsome, and a natural athlete. Equally at home on a skateboard, snowboard, or when surfing, he was a pleasure to watch; so fluid and graceful. He was a good soccer and baseball player and loved hiking in nature or being at the beach, especially on the annual family beach trips to Hatteras in North Carolina. [...]
Read More »
Jessica Mae Ackerman

Jessica Mae Ackerman

Sensitive, kind, loving, creative, animal lover At 4’11” and 100 pounds, Jessica was small in stature but big in personality and presence. Her twin sister, Jennifer, describes her as a unique, eccentric, creative person, “a badass”, who marched to her own drum and did what she wanted.” She had a bold, trend-setting fashion sense and liked to read and express herself through poetry and writing. Jennifer is currently compiling Jessica’s writings into a book. Jessica loved all animals. According to their mom, Jessica and her sister snuck a lot of animals into the house over the years. [...]
Read More »
Benjamin David Campbell

Benjamin David Campbell

Gentle, thoughtful, intelligent, loving Ben was the youngest of four children and the classic “baby of the family,” according to his mother, Karen. He was 6’4”, 220 pounds, handsome, gentle, intelligent, and fun-loving. He adored his older brothers and sister. His closest bond was with his oldest brother, Michael. He was a hero to Ben. He was smart, kind, and a loving role model. When Michael was a senior in high school, he struggled with depression, which led him to self-medicate with drugs and eventually become addicted. He committed suicide at 20 when Ben was 11. Michael’s death profoundly affected the family, all grieving in individual ways. Ben had promised Mike he would never use drugs, but could not keep that promise. [...]
Read More »
William Coddington

William Coddington

Funny, loving, kind, sensitive, and lonely William was a hilarious person. His mom, Carolyn, always knew it, but it was confirmed at his Zoom memorial service, which was attended by over 125 people. Many of them told stories about how William lit up a room and kept them laughing through his jokes and antics. His mother said, “As parents, we don’t always know how our children are known to their friends. She was proud to hear what a caring and loving man he was to so many people.” [...]
Read More »

Bring an Exhibit to Your State

Interested in bringing The INTO LIGHT Project to your State?
Find out how you can make this happen.