(CNN) – An Ohio family is dealing with heroin in a way they never could have imagined.
What happened to them is something some people wouldn’t want to talk about publicly. But their explanation began with a notice they put in the local paper. Alex Hesse was born with a big family and dreams even bigger.
Penny Hesse, Alex’s mother, said, “Nobody could beat him on the golf course, nobody could beat him on the baseball field, nobody could beat him on the football field. He was the best.” But Alex was changed by a force his parents describe as pure evil.
Penny said, “It was a demon. It was heroin, and it took over his life.”
Rick Hesse, Alex’s father said, “It doesn’t take more than one time with heroin. One time you take it, and you’re hooked.”
Heroin is the reason Alex wasn’t in court Tuesday. It killed him last Monday.
Penny said, “Nobody wanted more than him to get better, and it took over and made him a different person.”
Now Alex’s family is preparing his funeral, watching his life flash before their eyes in dozens of pictures. But they’re not keeping quiet about how he died, taking the unusual step of mentioning it as part of the obituary published in the paper.
Penny said, “His brother Andrew and sister Allie wrote his obituary, and felt it necessary to let other people know, this drug kills.”
The obituary says in part, “Hopefully by making more people aware of Alex’s struggle, we can shed some light on this devastating issue.”
Penny said, “It is an epidemic, it’s worse than the plague and it’s wiping out an entire generation.”
Rick said, “I don’t know how we’re going to stop this, but we need to, some-how, some-way, to stop this.”
It’s left an entire family fighting the demons of their son even after his death.
Alex Hesse was jailed on drug charges recently, and his mother went to court to ask the judge to keep him there, because she felt he would be safer behind bars until he could get treatment. He was eventually released due to overcrowding.