TV EXCLUSIVE: The parents of an Oak Bay teen who died from an accidental overdose Friday are sharing their story in a TV exclusive interview. They say they felt trapped by the medical system after their son was prescribed opioids earlier last year.
Sixteen-year-old Oak Bay High School student Elliot Cleveland Eurchuk had four surgical procedures in 2017, two for a fractured jaw that occurred in a soccer match and two shoulder reconstructions within four months of the jaw surgeries.
His mother Rachel Staples says he was prescribed opioids around every surgery, that’s when they say their son?s drug use started.
He was found dead in his bed Friday morning, due to an accidental overdose.
They say they felt trapped by the medical system that didn’t give them a say in his painkiller prescriptions.
“They tell you well I’m sorry your son doesn’t want you to know anything… how are we to care for him if we don’t know, we knew nothing,” said mother Rachel Staples
They believe he died from street drugs he was using to help him manage his pain after the prescriptions ran out.
“[The] System, government legislation yeah it needs to be changed,” said father Brock Eurchuck
While the grief is impossible to put into words… they are telling their story to give other parents and teens a warning.
But above all else, they are opening up to honour their son, a young man filled with potential.
In B.C., the Infants Act says children under 19 may consent to a medical treatment on their own under certain conditions: the health-care provider is sure the treatment is in the child?s best interest, and the child understands the potential risks and benefits.
“He was super funny, he had a wit as sharp as a whip… he tried to be kind like it’s usual to see an adolescent consciously trying to be kind,” said Staples
A Greater Victoria School District Critical Response Team is at Oak Bay High School and will be at the site next week to provide additional counselling support for students.
Staff will also be sharing the information and will provide resources to their classes during the first period on Monday.
There will be a memorial for Eurchuk later next week.
The BC Coroners Service has confirmed they are in the early stages of an investigation involving the death.