The story of a couple who lost their beloved son to an accidental overdose is told in this exclusive new book from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of My Name is Earl, The Autobiography of Earl Hanks.
In a series of devastating phone calls to his son, Earl Hicks describes the painful aftermath of a tragic accident that left him and his wife, Amy, unable to take care of their son, David, who had lost all of his senses and had a rare genetic condition that left his body so frail it was unable to breathe.
He recalls a family reunion with his son at the funeral, but it was only after he was released from the hospital that he found himself feeling completely helpless.
“He was my child, and I was helpless,” Earl Hacks said.
“I was like, ‘Why can’t I help you?’
I felt like I was a piece of garbage, because I couldn’t.”
After leaving the hospital, Earl began to work with a group of doctors to treat David.
He was one of the first in the country to be able to prescribe Vicodin, a powerful opiate, to treat the condition.
David would soon go on to die at age 12.
David Hicks died in 2007.
In an interview with MSNBC, Earl said he believes that a better system should be in place to address the problem.
“The only way we’re going to have an effective response to addiction is to have a national conversation about it,” he said.
“[There’s] no doubt that we need a national approach.
There is no question that we should have a more aggressive response.
We need a federal approach, a state approach.”
In the new book, Earl describes how he worked to help David’s family through his death, and he hopes the public can learn more about how to better manage their loved ones.
His new book will be released on August 16.
“It is my hope that this book will help other families,” he told MSNBC.
“They need to understand that we don’t just go into a death with a loss.
We go into death with hope and a determination to be a positive role model.
If you’ve ever been through a loss, this book is the best way to get through it.”