Overdosed in the Mohawk Valley, Part 3: Fighting for their lives

Angela Wong paid a costly, painful price for her 30-year addiction to heroin.

Posted: Feb 27, 2018 6:17 PM
Updated: Feb 27, 2018 7:54 PM

Angela Wong paid a costly, painful price for her 30-year addiction to heroin.

"I want her back. I want to be her mom again," says Wong of her daughter, now a young adult. "I'm not gonna stop trying. I leave presents at the door because they won't let me in."

That's not all heroin took from Wong.

"I've got one kidney ... I thought I was gonna die. I really did, because of my health issues from heroin."

Angela says she fell in love with heroin because it dulled the sting of a painful childhood. Recovering addict Tyler Hand says he had nothing from which to escape.

"I came from a good background. good morals. Good upbringing. The drug didn't care," says Hand. "I woke up in the ambulance with something shoved in my nose, which is Narcan. And it saved my life."

Hand says he sold his belongings and rented out his car to pay for drugs. One thing on which he and Wong agree: if you're not ready to quit, even the best rehab program won't help you. But once you are ready, nothing can stop you. Angela now delights in the drudgery of every day life...things many complain about.

"I pay my own bills now. I don't just throw them in the garbage, like I used to."

Similarly, Hand, who had overdosed multiple times, also is living the dream.

"Right now, I work a full time job. I married my beautiful wife, awesome kids, I coach special needs football, I'm starting my own business. I speak out at schools about drug and alcohol awareness," says Hand. "I always like to think if there's one breath left, there's hope."

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