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Her Story

Ashley Louise Campbell

 1987 November 07 ~ 2006 June 25

 

Day 1

 Thursday June 22, 2006

 
Ashley's father, Chuck Campbell was born in Kentville, Nova Scotia and shortly after the age of 19 moved to Quesnel, British Columbia to start his career in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.  He retired from the R.CM.P. in July 2003 and began a career as a Financial Consultant.  Her mother, Tammie Campbell (nee: Johnson) was born and raised in Kitimat, British Columbia.  At age 20 she moved to Quesnel to be near her sister and eventually secured a job as a Postal Worker, at Canada Post.  In those days the Post Office and the Police Office shared a common building and it did not take long before Mom and Dad began a relationship.  Chuck was transferred to Port McNeill, on Vancouver Island where they were married in June of 1986.  Nine months after a honeymoon in Mazatlan, Mexico, Ashley was born in Duncan, B.C. at 10:45 a.m. on the 07th of November 1987.  She weighed 7 pounds 9 ounces, had a small colic and hip dysplasia problem, but other than that, she was a healthy and beautiful little girl.  At 1 1/2 years old Ashley moved to Nanaimo with her Mom and Dad where they lived in a small rancher style home on Dawkins Lane.  When Ashley was almost three, her baby sister Jessica was born at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.  The two were inseparable, and made our lives complete.  Ashley attended Mountain View Elementary School until the end of Grade 7 and then Nanaimo District Senior Secondary from Grade 8 to 12.  By that time the family had moved from Dawkins Lane to a larger home on Harwell Road.  The old house did not give the girls much privacy and the new home would allow them their own bedrooms and a basement rec. room to entertain friends - even if they were boys!  After High School Ashley attended Malaspina University and College to obtain her License and pursue a career in hairdressing.  She worked part time at Save On Foods, Terminal Park, as a cashier.  It was there she met lots of new friends and her latest boyfriend - Tony. 

About 1 1/2 months before her death Ashley moved out of her parents home and into a basement suite behind the Harewood mall on Albion Street.  She shared the suite with a friend from her Hairdressing Course - Mariah.

On Thursday June 22nd at 8:30 in the morning Mariah  called Ashley's parent's home and left a message with her sister Jessie on our "teen" line.  Tammie was out for a run but when she called back, Mariah said that she was worried about Ashley who had not been eating or drinking properly the last couple days.  She also thought that Ashley and her boyfriend had broken up.  Tammie drove to Ashley's place right away and found her in her bed, dazed and with a nearby vomit laden bucket.  Tammie immediately suspected overdose and challenged Ashley for answers.  Ashley told her Mom she had taken Tylenol and nothing else.  When Tammie inspected the bathroom she found an empty bottle of Tylenol.  Tammie then called Chuck, who was at his work, but attended Ashley's place right away.  When Chuck arrived he could see that Ashley was in a dazed almost drunken state.  She was sitting upright on her bed, but looked disheveled and unkempt.  She was very pale, looked like she had lost weight, and her hair was a tangled mess.  Mom and dad collected their daughter, placed her in their car, and drove her to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.  Ashley sat in the front passengers seat near her Dad, while Mom sat behind her, in case she was sick.  After arriving at the hospital, Chuck went directly to the triage nurse, advised her of Ashley's situation, then scooped a wheel chair and returned to the car.  When Chuck lifted her from the car to place her in the wheel chair she complained that her sides were hurting her.  She was too weak to hold her feet up, so Chuck tilted her chair backward and rested her head against his body.

She said to him, "I want to get better," and he said right back, "We want you to get better too, Ashley."  It did not take long for Ashley to go through triage and get a hospital bed.  We overheard the triage Nurse ask Ashley how much Tylenol she had taken.  Ashley admitted taking 4 or 5 Tylenol and nothing else!  Later, her blood tests showed she had taken a significant amount of Tylenol, and present also was cocaine and alcohol.  

While laying in her emergency ward bed, Ashley kept frowning and moving her legs, all the while complaining that her back hurt.  She seemed dazed still, but tried to look at a clock to see what time it was.  We asked her why and she told us, "In 6 to 8 hours I'll be better."  We believed her, we had no idea, at that time, the harm she had done to herself, and what the next four days would be like.  We believed that the Doctors would do what they do, and we would take her home.  I can remember Tammie saying to Ashley, "Alright Ashley, you've done it your way, now you'll do it our way!"  We had no idea what she had done.  We had no idea the damage the Tylenol had caused her liver.

A short while later the attending Emerg. Doctor took us to a private meeting and delivered the very bad news.  He told us that Ashley had likely destroyed her liver with a Tylenol overdose, and may need a transplant, depending on her response to treatment.  WHAT??? Tylenol!!!  Regular strength, over-the-counter, buy it by the bushel load, Tylenol (acetaminophen.)  My head was reeling - I had been a policeman for 25 years and never heard of such a thing.  I had no idea Tylenol was so dangerous.  It became obvious, though, that the medical community knew,  and apparently the kids, but very few parents, especially us!

When we were alone Tammie fell into my arms, and began to cry.  She whispered to me, "She's dying," and I whispered back "Yes Sweetheart, our daughter may well have killed herself."

 

 
Copyright (c)2014 Ashley Louise Campbell