Kind soul gone too soon
Patrick was from a family of seven, including siblings Kathy, Kevin, John, and William, where there was never a dull moment. He was family-oriented and expressed his deep love freely, always telling his mom. “I love you more than life itself.” He shared the closest bond with his twin brother, William. They called each other their “twinkie.” Patrick had no children but loved his many nieces and nephews.
Patrick was an avid angler and spent most summers fishing with his brothers. He loved holidays, eating, and watching football, especially the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the University of Florida Gators. Patrick was also known for writing rap songs, being a practical joker, and his big heart. He wanted to have a family but never had the chance.
Patrick previously worked as an irrigation apprentice installing sprinkler systems, but in recent years was incarcerated on drug-related charges at Charlotte Correctional Institution in Punta Gorda. He talked with his mom every day by phone. He was looking forward to getting out in one year and told her he wanted to do better. Though he struggled with substance use disorder for several years, she felt better thinking he was safe from drugs in prison. His brother William said, “He was drug-free for five years of his sentence, but when he was made a medical trustee, he started using drugs again.”
Patrick died of an overdose while in custody. William learned that “it was ten times easier to get drugs from corrections officers in prison than it was on the street,” just more expensive. Though many people in Florida prisons have a substance use disorder, most prisons do not offer addiction treatment programs for inmates. Other inmates have died from overdoses in the same prison.
Since Patrick’s death, his mother, Kathleen, spends her time advocating with the Governor and Representatives to do more to address prison overdoses. Naloxone was not on hand when Patrick overdosed. Kathleen is working to get this opioid-reversal drug into every prison in Florida, not only in the infirmaries but near every dorm area for quick access. While Naloxone is not a cure for addiction, it can be a lifesaver and give people another chance for treatment.
William takes his six-year-old daughter, Audrina, with him to visit the uncle she never met at the cemetery. Kathleen belongs to the Flagler Countywide Opioid Task Force and has spoken before her state representatives. She still suffers from anxiety, especially when hearing an ambulance, and worries about losing another child.
Patrick’s mother, Kathleen Dalton, provided the information for this narrative.
September 15, 1987-August 8, 2016
Age 28-Lived with the disease of addiction for 14 years