Patrick (Ray) Fulghum

Patrick (Ray) Fulghum

Lived life to the fullest

Patrick was a loving, sweet person. He was his mother’s first-born child and a mama’s boy. Part of a seamless, blended family since he was very young, he loved all his siblings, Charlotte, Kendra, Brittany, and Stephanie. Given so many sisters, if he wanted to play with them as a young boy, it meant playing Barbie! But later his sisters joined him in outdoor activities like four-wheeling, fishing, dirt biking, and mudding.

Patrick and his sister Brittany were especially close. They both had substance use disorder, and he watched out for her. On the day he passed, Patrick called his mom to pick up Brittany and get her help. She is now doing well, drug-free, married, and pregnant with her first child. Their mom is very proud of her and knows that Patrick is watching over her.

Patrick’s favorite thing to do was air boating with his dad, David. One evening, David told Patrick he could drive the airboat for the first time. He was excited to tell his mom that he not only drove the airboat but did a lot of donuts on the way. Time outdoors with his dad was a huge highlight for Patrick.

Birthdays in the family were big! Every kid in the neighborhood came to enjoy the games, especially one where they ended up with a face full of whipped cream. Holidays were a big family event and there are memories of a vacation to Key Largo, where they went on a glass-bottom boat and to John Pennekamp beach.

Patrick’s dad taught him how to be a plumber and he did some big jobs by himself, equal to any full-time plumber. He loved landscaping and worked at it until about a month before he passed. He liked helping the family, so he used his skills to maintain his aunt and grandmother’s gardens. It surprised his aunt when he pruned back so much, but her garden came back better than before.

At 14 Patrick ordered a tattoo gun from Amazon and started tatting his friends. He had lots of beautiful artworks adorning his body, including a rose for his grandmother Rosemary and a tat for his sister, Brittany. His tattoos included one arm that said Heaven and one that said Hell. His mom said, “He fought between those two consistently.”

Patrick often gave his mom a hard time about her gray hair, telling her she was too young for that. He got some dye and conned her into coloring her hair. Afterward, they had an Xbox dance party. Brandy said, “I would never dance like that normally, but I did it for him.” Now that dance party holds treasured memories with her son.

Since Patrick’s passing, Brandy and another mother started a support group, Advocates for our Angels. She is passionate about having a safe place for parents to go where they will not be judged. “My son was not a bad person, she said. He was just addicted. I will continue to do what I do until I take my last breath.”

Patrick’s mother, Brandy Fulghum, provided the information for this narrative.

November 2, 1994-June 8, 2017

Age 22-Lived with the disease of addiction 7 years

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