Joey Sardella

Joey Sardella

Beautiful, exciting, funny, courageous, loving

Joey was funny, kind, loving, handsome, courageous and a natural athlete. He loved music and all sports but excelled at baseball. “He could hit a ball ¼ of a mile and could pitch and hit the corners of the plate like a pro,” his mom stated. ‘He had so many double plays to end an inning. Who can hit the catcher from the outfield? Joey could… every time.’ He was the high school MVP in baseball and ranked first in a CYO cross-country archdiocese championship. He was chosen to travel in a special youth soccer event and he played football and basketball.

Joey, his brother Mikey, and sister Angie, grew up as best friends. The three of them did everything together. His mom said: “I can still see the three kids in their high school baseball/softball uniforms hanging out together after high school games, Mikey and Angie laughing at something crazy Joey did or said. Joey was the life of the party and kept everyone laughing, but he didn’t love school. He had been diagnosed in 5th grade with ADD and it was hard for him to stay focused. In his senior year, he started a carpentry program and did well. He graduated from Delaware County Community College with a certificate in Residential Carpentry while excelling at baseball for the college.

It wasn’t easy for Joey to get work, as he was on probation, but he found contractors who would use him for short projects. He knew he wasn’t the best candidate for a job with the baggage he had and was always thankful for those who gave him opportunities. One of Joey’s biggest accomplishments was completing years of probation, paying off all his fines, living a sober life and being self-supporting for the last five months of his life.

Joey didn’t talk about his goals for the future; his primary focus was to do his best to stay in recovery. Joey loved women and adored children, but feared a relationship and fatherhood because he wasn’t far enough in recovery and he didn’t want to let anyone down.

“Joey’s life was most influential after he passed away on International Overdose Awareness day, in 2019,” his mom said. ‘His overdose helped to keep other beautiful people alive.’ Many of his friends have not used drugs since his passing.” Joey taught his family, friends and others in recovery how to respect people for their struggle with addiction.

Ann has endless memories of time with Joey. Watching him play ball while his dad coached, eating out together, shopping, going to Phillies games, 76er’s games and taking walks together. They all ended the same; with Joey’s warm smile, a huge hug and saying, I love you Mom.

Joey’s mom attended Naranon meetings during the five years of his addiction. She has a passion to spread awareness and help others. She says, “I remember the incredible strength Joey showed all of us in the fierce battle he fought against addiction. He made us so proud, and now it’s my turn to make him proud.”

Joey’s mother, Ann Sardella, provided the information for this narrative.

January 27, 1995-August 31, 2019

Age 24-Lived with the disease of addiction 5 years

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