Victim's mom warns of huffing dangers

Victim's mom warns of huffing dangers

There are 66 comments on the WOOD-TV Grand Rapids and Michigan story from Oct 17, 2008, titled Victim's mom warns of huffing dangers. In it, WOOD-TV Grand Rapids and Michigan reports that:

After her son's death, apparently from huffing or inhaling a computer dusting spray, Beverly Helms started researching.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at WOOD-TV Grand Rapids and Michigan.

tom

Greenville, MI

#43 Oct 17, 2008
Scrcoach wrote:
Sad. Reality wasn't enough for this skater-dude to master. Why did he have to handicap himself with a huff before school?
My prayers are for you, Mom. May you find the space in your life to get past these horrible days.
One last point - where's Dad? A real man would have been involved with this young man and shown him the right ways to use his body, not as a tool for screwing up his mind.
where is the dad in so many of these juvenile brain lapses. in many cases, there's no dad around, at all, anywhere.
Scott

Cincinnati, OH

#44 Oct 17, 2008
The most disturding thing from this tragedy is there was no mention of the way Michael died to the Ionia Public School students. It was all rumor and speculation in the days after the tragedy. Michaels mom should be commended for her courage to go on tv to bring this to our attention. I however am very disappointed in the IPS for not being as blunt with the students as to how he died. This is something that can happen to anyone that has ever tried huffing. This isn't new. I feel the school should have had (or have it now) an assembly starting in Middle School to warn children. They need to tell the students if you do this, you will die. I would like to see TV-8 contact the school and inquire as to why if the mother is willing to go public, why not have the school help in getting the message out.
Vas

Grand Rapids, MI

#45 Oct 17, 2008
40andfree wrote:
who bought and gave the can of dust spray to this kid? are they going to charge that person with his death?
mom, i too hope you can reach the 100000 of kids who think "nothing will happen to me"
He could've gone to Meijers and bought it himself if he had a few bucks in his pocket. Canned air (which isn't air ... but some very long-named chemical) is not a controlled substance. You can't blame the store or the clerk, because they would've had no way to know what the kid was going to use it for.

That's the scary part of huffing - you can get a "high" off sniffing just about anything ... rubber cement, markers, cleaners ... how do you know your kid isn't behind the garage huffing fumes off the gas can? Kids have before, and will again.

Restriction can only go so far! The only real end to this is EDUCATION!

“DON'T JUDGE ME”

Since: Jul 08

Holland, MI

#46 Oct 17, 2008
froggy log wrote:
kids do stupid things.
And adults do much better??? C'mon here and stop and think that maybe the kid was just curious or nervous about something at school so he thought he could relax if he was high ... you don't know!

Having a dad at home doesn't make any difference ... stop blaming the parents!! It's not something that's labeled by how things are in the home. A kid can come from the best of homes with both parents, plenty of food, loving environment, everything he could want and still experiment with this!!! Wake up people!!!!!!!!!
Vas

Grand Rapids, MI

#47 Oct 17, 2008
40andfree wrote:
<quoted text>
i wasnt getting off track on the topic. it just seems like when a kid (DRUGGIE) dies of an over dose, someone is held accountable. kids buy herion, crack and coke and the one furnishing the drug is the criminal.
If somebody buys a length of rope from the hardware store and hangs themselves with it, is the hardware store liable?
Scott

Cincinnati, OH

#48 Oct 17, 2008
Please email [email protected] Tell them to inform the students of the reason Michael died. They have not made any announcement to the students warning them of the dangers of huffing.
mercygal

Greenville, MI

#49 Oct 17, 2008
DRT2322

This is an open discussion, however, in commenting, some folks need to know that they dont have all the facts.

Its a tragedy...accidental, or on purpose... it is still a tragedy.

If you make light of it, then you might open your self up to anything.

Parents need to be aware of the lives of their kids. Two parents or one parent, all parents need to be aware.

Mike had a father, Mike had a mom. What does that have to do with anything?

Even if a home has two parents, there is no guarantee that parent, or both parents is paying attention. If they are paying attention...and they do care...then you still have kids that wont listen anyway.

Many Ionia teens have taken this very seriously...and we are very proud that they have. The awareness of this subject has even opened a few parents eyes. We are thankful for that as well.

I know how the one commentor feels about exposing these things might temp kids to try them, I really do understand that. But at the same time, the statistics are that more than likely the awareness campaigns steer them away from it, instead of toward it.
It is important for the awareness to be there. It is true as well, there will be some who will induluge, and we truly hope and pray it makes them sick, and not kills them. Perhaps that will be the deterrent for them.

Please continue with comments. This is a very important subject to us.
Mikes grandma
Mercygal
mercygal

Greenville, MI

#50 Oct 17, 2008
Scott wrote:
Please email [email protected] Tell them to inform the students of the reason Michael died. They have not made any announcement to the students warning them of the dangers of huffing.
Scott would you please let us know where you are getting this information?

mercygal
Scott

Cincinnati, OH

#51 Oct 17, 2008
mercygal wrote:
<quoted text>
Scott would you please let us know where you are getting this information?
mercygal
My son attends Ionia Public School. He's 16 and I'm relying on his info that nothing was mentioned in school. He and others started getting text messages Saturday and it continued through the weekend, about what happened to Mike. At school on Monday, he said there was very little mentioned "officially" about Mike's passing. Nothing about how it happened. Forgive me, but I had all but forgotten about it until I saw his mother on the news last night. I feel very strongly that the school needs to be proactive. It's not too late inform the student body about the dangers of huffing. I've been to a few parent info meetings about drugs and alcohol but never anything was mentioned about inhalants.

The info from the school is from the IPS web site, http://www.ionia.k12.mi.us
DRT2322

Grand Rapids, MI

#52 Oct 17, 2008
Mike's Grandma -

I think that you are confusing other peoples posts with mine. I stated several times that this was unfortunate. I only made a statement in response to your claim that he had no idea what he was doing. He knew he was huffing for the intention of getting high. Never did I say that he did it knowing that he would die. Again, it is unfortunate. I also did not ever make light of the situation. I stated that I hoped others would learn from this. Who knows? Maybe this horrible event can prevent this from happening in other families. And never did I mention anything about Mike's parents playing a role in this. I remember what it's like to be a teenager. They try things, and a lot of them are stupid things. My parents were very involved and attentive parents, but I still managed to do stuff behind their backs that they never knew about. EVERY child will do that, and it doesn't make the parents bad parents at all. From your posts as well as those of others, it sounds as though Mike had a wonderful family that is completely shocked and devastated that this happened. I hope that all of Mike's peers take this event very seriously, and realize that it can happen to them. Most teens hear about this stuff happening to others, and believe that it will never happen to them. It can. And I hope they realize it so the loss of another life is prevented. If I had managed to offend you in any way, that was not my intention. This is a tragic accident. It doesn't make the kid or family or friends bad people, it's just a horrible accident. Hopefully this will prevent other similar situations.

Best wishes to you, your family, and Mike's peers in overcoming this tragedy.
mercygal wrote:
DRT2322
This is an open discussion, however, in commenting, some folks need to know that they dont have all the facts.
Its a tragedy...accidental, or on purpose... it is still a tragedy.
If you make light of it, then you might open your self up to anything.
Parents need to be aware of the lives of their kids. Two parents or one parent, all parents need to be aware.
Mike had a father, Mike had a mom. What does that have to do with anything?
Even if a home has two parents, there is no guarantee that parent, or both parents is paying attention. If they are paying attention...and they do care...then you still have kids that wont listen anyway.
Many Ionia teens have taken this very seriously...and we are very proud that they have. The awareness of this subject has even opened a few parents eyes. We are thankful for that as well.
I know how the one commentor feels about exposing these things might temp kids to try them, I really do understand that. But at the same time, the statistics are that more than likely the awareness campaigns steer them away from it, instead of toward it.
It is important for the awareness to be there. It is true as well, there will be some who will induluge, and we truly hope and pray it makes them sick, and not kills them. Perhaps that will be the deterrent for them.
Please continue with comments. This is a very important subject to us.
Mikes grandma
Mercygal
In Ionia

Ionia, MI

#53 Oct 17, 2008
mercygal wrote:
John Q Public said... We all know about huffing and its obvious this boy did as well, therefore we all know about the death that can come from as did this boy.
This statement is not true. We ALL do NOT know about "huffing".
Just to dispel any erroneous information....my conversation with the coroner who was on the scence when Mike was found, clearly said this was accidental. He DID NOT know what he was doing.
It appalled me to when talking with parents with children yesterday, to find most parents have never heard of this method of "huffing". Some didnt even know what "Duster" was. It is easy to understand why parents of toddlers wouldnt be sympathetic to this issue, but to generalize and say "We all know" is totally incorrect.
Mike was NOT a troubled kid. But he was a normal teenager with curiosities.
Mike is missed dearly by his family, and this community has done a wonderful loving job of supporting us through this difficult time, and we thank them.
mikes grandma
He knew exactly what he was doing. He just didnt know his limit, which resulted in his accidental death.
It's too bad he learned the hard way.
This is not going to stop any more kids from doing it. Just like drinking and other drugs....a death of a friend doesnt stop them. Time wil go by, and it will be forgotten. Until the next the next one dies. Parent who dont know about huffing and the results it has on a person, need to get thier head out of the ground and start paying attention. "I didnt know" is the lamest excuse. You didnt know because you didnt want to know.
He knew exactly what he was doing. He just didnt know his limit, which resulted in his accidental death.
It's too bad he learned the hard way.
This is not going to stop any more kids from doing it. Just like drinking and other drugs....a death of a friend doesnt stop them. Time wil go by, and it will be forgotten. Until the next the next one dies. Parent who dont know about huffing and the results it has on a person, need to get thier head out of the ground and start paying attention. "I didnt know" is the lamest excuse. You didnt know because you didnt want to know.
Brownie Burglar

United States

#54 Oct 17, 2008
If I put a plastic bag over my head and tie it nice and tight around my neck, could I die? I've heard the feeling is heavenly.
In Ionia

Ionia, MI

#55 Oct 17, 2008
Scott wrote:
<quoted text>
My son attends Ionia Public School. He's 16 and I'm relying on his info that nothing was mentioned in school. He and others started getting text messages Saturday and it continued through the weekend, about what happened to Mike. At school on Monday, he said there was very little mentioned "officially" about Mike's passing. Nothing about how it happened. Forgive me, but I had all but forgotten about it until I saw his mother on the news last night. I feel very strongly that the school needs to be proactive. It's not too late inform the student body about the dangers of huffing. I've been to a few parent info meetings about drugs and alcohol but never anything was mentioned about inhalants.
The info from the school is from the IPS web site, http://www.ionia.k12.mi.us
It's not the schools responisblity to inform the students, it thier parents.
Sister of Michael

Midland, MI

#56 Oct 17, 2008
Scrcoach wrote:
Sad. Reality wasn't enough for this skater-dude to master. Why did he have to handicap himself with a huff before school?
My prayers are for you, Mom. May you find the space in your life to get past these horrible days.
One last point - where's Dad? A real man would have been involved with this young man and shown him the right ways to use his body, not as a tool for screwing up his mind.
Are you serious? Michael's dad has always been around... For you to just assume he isn't around because he wasn't on tv is crazy! Why don't you keep negative comments in which you know nothing about to yourself? Our family is having a hard enough time as it is!
Finderoffact

United States

#57 Oct 17, 2008
First of all, my most sincere prayers go out to the Meek family. The morning of September 6th I won't soon forget as it has changed the lives of many in the Ionia community. While "huffing" has been around for years, we only become educated when this happens and it is publicized. Kudos to Beverly for wanting to educate others at the expense of losing her son and to Mike's grandma for being vigilant. Even though it took 5 weeks for this story to come out, for the most part it is being reported correctly and accurately. What matters now is that we all learn from this tragic death. I for one did the same as Beverly, I huddled my young children around the computer and pulled up you tube videos for them to watch. I then showed them some you tube videos that Meek's friends made as a tribute to him. This hit's home. Utterly incredible! No doubt in my mind Michael's life was taken so that others could be educated in "huffing". God bless the Meek family and all of his friends. I will not soon forget the stages of grief I observed the family going through that particular morning!! God bless the Meek family..........

“Almost as Sweet as Gunpowder”

Since: Oct 08

Cedar Springs, MI

#58 Oct 17, 2008
I am sad for children today. Sure, we had our share of substances when I was growing up but I think it's harder than ever to just be a kid now than in the 80's.

Sorry for this kid and his family. Hope that what happened will sink into other kid's heads and they "just say no."

“Lucky”

Since: Sep 08

Charm City

#59 Oct 17, 2008
Sister of Michael wrote:
<quoted text>
Are you serious? Michael's dad has always been around... For you to just assume he isn't around because he wasn't on tv is crazy! Why don't you keep negative comments in which you know nothing about to yourself? Our family is having a hard enough time as it is!
My heart goes out to your family. Stay strong. Don't let peoples remarks get you down. What happened was tragic. I will keep you all in my prayers.
Sister of Michael

Midland, MI

#60 Oct 17, 2008
Beverly Helms is my mother, she raised us all to be good christian children. In this I didn't know specifically about drugs and what drugs were what. I spent most of my time in church where they did not speak about these kinds of things. Yes we were raised ignorantly, but my mother always thought it for the best. I found out about huffing in high school. I went to a friends house after school where a friend of mine huffed in front of me, still I didn't know anything about it, and when she was done she fell backwards and almost decapitated herself in an industrial fan. I knew not to do these things, but I didn't know what she was doing until it was to late for me to stop it. As soon as she came to I told her I had to leave. I was scared out of my mind!!!

As for Michaels father, he is also a great man and has been involved. And yes we grew up in a broken home, but I didn't know my father at all... My mother did a GREAT job with me! I couldn't ask for a better parent, never the less two better parents. She is an amazing mother and she did the best she could do with what she had every single second of all of her childrens lives.

My mother has never had these kinds of chemicals in her house. She has been into natural cleaning for almost 11 years and anything under her sink could be drank or huffed with no consequences. She doesn't even have cough syrup in her house!

Please think before you judge! This has been a tragic experience with everyone involved and all my family and I need is support right now. Do not assume things that you know nothing about...

We are not pressing charges on anyone for anything. It was Michaels choice to put chemicals in his body, as much as I know he did not know the dangers, it was still his choice. Just like anything any of us have ever done has been our choice. I think he was shown how to huff once and tried it on his own without knowing what he was doing and died on accident. He was not sad, my mom and all our family was involved in his life. We are a very close knit family. In his 17 years I only remember having one true argument with him. I love him very much as a lot of people do!!!

I hope this helps in settling some of your comments.

We love you always and forever Michael,
Your big sis

“Peace Be With you and yours.”

Since: Oct 08

Fort Collins, CO

#61 Oct 17, 2008
Murphy wrote:
Uggh c'mon people. Blame this, blame that - it's daddy's fault. This kind of tradgedy happens everyday. Open your eyes and look around. There is something drastically wrong with us today. Look at what our kids and even our adults are doing to eachother everyday.
We as a society are to blame for where we are. Somewhere we screwed up with our parental responsiblity and communication with our kids. Kids no longer have any base morals or common sense. They look at and accept violence/crime as an everyday occurance. We need to find a solution and get it into our children's head by middle school. After this in all likelyhood, it's too late. Sorry for my rant.
I so agree with you here. We all need to help get to ouer children before it is to late. The Ionia area does have a high rate of suicide with teens its very sad and the schools need help reaching the children and teens there quick.

“Peace Be With you and yours.”

Since: Oct 08

Fort Collins, CO

#62 Oct 17, 2008
Sister of Michael wrote:
Beverly Helms is my mother, she raised us all to be good christian children. In this I didn't know specifically about drugs and what drugs were what. I spent most of my time in church where they did not speak about these kinds of things. Yes we were raised ignorantly, but my mother always thought it for the best. I found out about huffing in high school. I went to a friends house after school where a friend of mine huffed in front of me, still I didn't know anything about it, and when she was done she fell backwards and almost decapitated herself in an industrial fan. I knew not to do these things, but I didn't know what she was doing until it was to late for me to stop it. As soon as she came to I told her I had to leave. I was scared out of my mind!!!
As for Michaels father, he is also a great man and has been involved. And yes we grew up in a broken home, but I didn't know my father at all... My mother did a GREAT job with me! I couldn't ask for a better parent, never the less two better parents. She is an amazing mother and she did the best she could do with what she had every single second of all of her childrens lives.
My mother has never had these kinds of chemicals in her house. She has been into natural cleaning for almost 11 years and anything under her sink could be drank or huffed with no consequences. She doesn't even have cough syrup in her house!
Please think before you judge! This has been a tragic experience with everyone involved and all my family and I need is support right now. Do not assume things that you know nothing about...
We are not pressing charges on anyone for anything. It was Michaels choice to put chemicals in his body, as much as I know he did not know the dangers, it was still his choice. Just like anything any of us have ever done has been our choice. I think he was shown how to huff once and tried it on his own without knowing what he was doing and died on accident. He was not sad, my mom and all our family was involved in his life. We are a very close knit family. In his 17 years I only remember having one true argument with him. I love him very much as a lot of people do!!!
I hope this helps in settling some of your comments.
We love you always and forever Michael,
Your big sis
Peace Be with your family....Take care and God Bless.

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Ionia Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
Presumed illegal gambling ring draws large crowds (Mar '15) Jan '16 Dave 2
HIgh Speed Internet in Portland - is cable avai... (Nov '15) Nov '15 bnaielohim 1
News Outbreak of stomach ailments at Ionia prison (Aug '15) Aug '15 Kelly 2
News From clean record to life in prison for player ... (Aug '15) Aug '15 Kelly 1
Chris Updyke is spreading STD (May '14) May '15 Jim Rowley Ionia Mi 7
News Mom grasps that boys are in heaven (May '15) May '15 hon2505 1
News McGowan brothers and Griffes are convicted of 2... (May '07) Mar '15 Bad at one time 22

Ionia Jobs

More from around the web

Personal Finance

Ionia Mortgages