KAMLOOPS — Valdine Wilbur's world changed in an instant when her only son, Tyler Laybolt, died of a drug overdose in Kamloops on Nov. 6.
Wilbur, who lives in Edmonton, was at a dinner with family when her ex-husband called her with the horrifying news.
"They weren't sure exactly what it was that he overdosed from at that time," she said. "My family, as strong as they are, we gathered together at my oldest brother's place in Spruce Grove and we packed up all of our vehicles and came to Kamloops."
Wilbur says her 23 year old son had struggled with a heroin addiction, but after three-months of rehab in Edmonton he was no longer using that drug.
"It was nice to know when we got the toxicology (report) back they said he didn't have any heroin in his system, which had been the main demon in his life," Wilbur said. "Once we found out what it was he had cocaine which was laced with fentanyl is what it turned out to be."
Wilbur says she hopes her son's story will be a reminder to young people to be cautious with drug use.
"They need to be aware," she said. "If you're there with friends don't leave anybody alone. That's what happened here, he was left by himself. They knew he was doing cocaine and I don't know the full details yet but there were people in the room with him that just left, and that's the worst thing ever."
Wilbur adds parents should never give up on their children, no matter how far they have traveled down the path of addiction.
"Just make sure you're there," she said, "help them out. Always reassure them."
Other parents who have lost children to drug overdoses in the Kamloops area have been reaching out to Wilbur and lending their support.
Laybolt had been in Kamloops working on a hip hop album, and went by the name Guck for performances in the community. Many of his friends from the local music industry were among the 200 in attendance at a celebration of his life at his uncle's home on Wednesday, Nov. 9. A private viewing was held on Saturday.
Another service will be held in Edmonton on Friday.
Laybolt leaves behind a four year old son. Wilbur says Laybolt's hip hop album will eventually be sold on a gofundme page to support his child's future.
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