Loving, sensitive, loyal, smart, warrior
John-Tyler was full of life and energy. He was brave, loving, compassionate, and hopeful. Always in motion, he loved attention. He put on music shows for the family, as he self-learned how to play guitar. John-Tyler suffered from ADHD and hyperactivity. Though challenging, it was part of what made him unique and special. His aunt, Noelle, said, “His zest for life brought such joy into our lives.”
JT had excellent taste in clothes and shoes; he was always sharply dressed and well-groomed. He loved gourmet food and enjoyed working together with his mom, preparing French recipes for the family. Everything he did came from a place of love and care for others. His close-knit extended family was important to him. He enjoyed time with his grandfather, learning how to fix things around the house, speaking French with his French-born great-grandmother, and he kept everyone happily entertained.
As teenagers, John-Tyler and his brother, Justin, hung out with girls together, played basketball, raced on their skateboards, swam, and teased each other. They spent time in nature taking hunting trips to South Carolina with their dad. At night, John-Tyler affectionately teased his dad while watching their favorite television shows together.
Talented in sports, especially baseball, John-Tyler had hoped for a career in baseball. He graduated from high school but never really launched into the workplace because of the addiction and mental health challenges he faced. As his addiction progressed, John-Tyler lived at home with his parents focusing on recovery, meetings, and professional help. After his experience with substance use disorder (SUD), he had ambitions to become a counselor for those with similar issues.
The disease of addiction changed John-Tyler’s brain and his relationships with some of his family and friends. He found it hard to concentrate and sometimes felt hopeless, alone, and different from others. His family felt powerless, watching him suffer. They desperately wanted to protect him and keep him from danger. They became frustrated with the judicial system, recovery programs, the high cost of treatment, and fearful for John-Tyler’s future.
Since John-Tyler’s death, members of the family are now more involved in bringing awareness to overdose and substance use disorder as a disease, not a moral failing. His Grandmaman said, “We all feel a vast emptiness. It is excruciating to watch the suffering his parents are in.” “Our homes are empty without his laughter and joyful heart.”
John-Tyler’s aunt, Noelle Rankin, provided the information for this narrative on behalf of her sister, Nathalie Springhart, brother-in-law Brent, John-Tyler’s brother Justin, grandmother and grandfather Marie-Helene and Carl Crosslin, and his Springhart family.
September 6, 1995–October 28, 2018
Age 23-Lived with the disease of addiction 10 years