A coroner’s inquest into the death of Oak Bay teenager Elliot Eurchuk began Monday with testimony from his mother, Rachel Staples.

Speaking at times through tears, Staples told the inquest of a family tormented by their son’s growing drug addiction following surgery for sports injuries.

The jury heard that Elliot Eurchuk, with a growing addiction, lied to doctors, stole drugs from his mother’s clinic and almost died of an overdose before his death.

During more than two hours of emotional testimony, Staples blamed doctors for denying them access to their son’s medical records, according to his wishes.

“Had one doctor been honest with us, Elliot would very likely not be dead,” she said.

Staples also accused Oak Bay High School officials of being more concerned that Elliot was dealing drugs than for his well-being.

Much of this happened during a stressful time for the family. His mother was battling cancer and her business was breaking up. She said it made her unavailable to her children and contributed to a strained relationship with her son.

She described Elliot as a smart, athletic boy who thought he could manage his problem all on his own.

“It’s a preventable tragedy and I don’t want to see another family have to go through this. I don’t think any of us do,” said Elliot’s father, Brock Eurchuk, outside the inquest.

The inquest is scheduled to last until the end of next week.

Calvin To