Kaitlyn Maurer

Kaitlyn Maurer

She lived for a reason

To say that Kaitlyn had a tough childhood would be a vast understatement. She was removed from her birth parents when she was four because both were in active addiction and could not care for her. The next two years she was in numerous foster placements until she was adopted and given a permanent home. That home was unsafe as well. She was mentally, physically and sexually abused until she was ten, when charges were brought and her adoptive father was sentenced to 10 years in prison. When she went back to foster care she was anorexic, had severe posttraumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. That was when her “forever” mother, Rhonda, who was employed at her school, met her.

“I cannot explain the bond we had. She was the most beautiful child, and I knew if I didn’t help her, she would never stand a chance,” her mom said. There were endless court hearings, counseling appointments, visits to the crisis center, and lots of tears; but there was much more to Kaitlyn than her trauma. She volunteered in the special needs classroom at school; she counseled her friends and was passionate about helping child abuse victims. Her mom secured visitation arrangements with her brother’s, Bryson and Nicholas, so Kaitlyn could feel assured they were doing well.

She was a sweet, kind and giving person; her spirit and vulnerability drew people to her, “no matter who you were, you felt better about yourself after meeting Kaitlyn.” her mom said. ‘She was a bright light, very creative, artistic and great company.’ She loved music, drawing, ballet and doing social media make up videos; people were amazed by the realistic make up effects she produced for Halloween. Their relationship was mutually supportive. “Kaitlyn was there for me when no one else was. She helped me though the death of my mother and divorce, she accomplished more in her brief life than most do in a long lifetime.”

There are warm memories of hiking and exploring together and of Kaitlyn rolling down a hill at a pumpkin festival, her long arms and legs flying about. “I miss our laughs, my shopping companion, our nighttime talks and her hugs,” Rhonda stated.

Rhonda had no experience with the disease of addiction until Kaitlyn came into her life. Now she has a great deal of empathy for individuals and families dealing with substance use. “Although I feared losing her, I never thought it would actually happen,” she said. ‘When you go to court and see those who have the illness appearing sick and disheveled, it breaks your heart. But the dealers, the predators, come sharply dressed at the expense of those who they destroy.’

“I eventually lost Kaitlyn to opioids and my biggest fear is that she will be forgotten,” her mom said. She suffered so much in her life. I wouldn’t have changed my decision for the world. In the end, she was loved unconditionally.”

Kaitlyn’s mother, Rhonda Wutrick, provided the information for this narrative.

January 16, 2001-February 10, 2020

Age 19-Lived with addiction 4 years

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