Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Numb Vocation

It's a cold, cruel November morning...late be precise. The snow didn't fall had been expected...but the cars were covered in frost in the street outside my window. This was no ordinary day for me to return to I had said goodbye to my beloved wife just two days prior. The weeks leading up to her funeral had been filled with planning, organising and just coasting along on auto-pilot really. There had been a certainty that she was gone...but there had also been much uncertainty about the future and about what was coming next. Since the cremation service there has been a numbness in my heart and a hole in my mind. It's like I've had part of my mind removed. So...back to first proper shave since 30th October...when she was taken into hospital..where she died four days later on the 4th November. I ironed a silence. Next to the iron I found a huge unopened bottle of Lactulose of Rio's last prescription items.
Mrs Rio Fraser 10-15 mls to be taken at night. It means nothing so many other reminders of Rio scattered around the house. A bunch of keys on the work-top...with her Ramones key-fob...keys not needed now. Her redundant cashpoint and debit cards...never to be used again. Her little black and white purse...with £3.75 in it.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Kent Online...Update

This is the next update from Kent Online....with some more comments:

Anthrax victim's husband speaks

A heartbroken husband has spoken of his wife’s death from anthrax-infected heroin.

Andy Fraser, 49, said he was “totally shocked” to discover wife Rio had taken the drug which has killed five other people in England this year.

Andy from Tonbridge Road, Maidstone, said: “I certainly didn’t know she was taking heroin.

“When doctors said two days before she died it was anthrax, I didn’t know what to think.”

US-born Rio, 37, who was christened Tracey, died at Maidstone Hospital on Wednesday, November 3.

Kent Police have launched an investigation to trace the infected heroin, which is thought to have originated from Scotland where it has killed 12 people since December 2009.

Since her death, messages of sympathy and support have flooded the KM’s website, but inevitably a few have been less-than complimentary.

Andy said: “I know people will jump to conclusions and I understand why they’re what they’re saying, but they didn’t know Rio.

“I’ve never met anyone who made such an impact on other people as she did.

“I’ve had so many messages of support from people she helped in her time, and she had time for everyone.”

The tragedy unfolded when Rio collapsed at the couple’s terraced home on Saturday, October 30.

She was rushed to Maidstone Hospital and hours later moved to intensive care.

It was then doctors broke the news to Andy that his wife had taken heroin infected with a small amount of anthrax.

He said: “I was totally shocked. I knew she had used drugs in the past but she told me she had been clean for four years.”

Rio suffered multiple organ failure and a decision was made to switch her life support machine off.

As his wife’s life slipped away, Andy told of his emotional last words.

“I promised her I’d be strong and make her proud of me, the way I was proud of her for the woman she was.”

The couple met four years ago via the My Space music website, where Andy had posted songs by his band Unlucky Fried Kitten, who are renowned in Maidstone and Medway.

Rio, a trained drugs counsellor, became a fan and the pair started a relationship which resulted in her moving from Los Angeles to be with Andy.

They married at the Archbishop’s Palace in June 2008 and as well as continuing her counselling work in the UK, Rio became the band’s keyboard player.

Andy, a carpet estimator, said a childhood trauma may have triggered Rio’s drug habit which she kept hidden whilst they lived together.

He said: ”She had a serious car accident when she was 12.

“I’ve been going through stuff since she died and I’ve found correspondence from doctors to do with physical and mental problems she was having because of it.

“She was obviously still in pain.”

No date has so far been set for the funeral, which Andy promised will be a celebration of Rio’s life.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Kent Police on 01622 690 690.

For further health information, contact Kent Health Protection Unit on 01622 885 931.

Thursday, November 11 2010

K wrote:

If Andy is reading this, I am a childhood friend of Rio's in the US and just heard of her passing tonight. Thank you for coming into her life and loving her and bringing her happiness and a loving home. She was a really wonderful person and a beautiful soul who overcame some difficult situations. I am so deeply sorry. I wish that things had been different and that I could have known you and known her in her final years. Is there a way that I could contact you?

16 Nov 2010 5:58 AM

Chris wrote:

I'm truly saddened to know that someone would do this to my longtime friend of 21 years. She's an amazing person for all those who knew her.

15 Nov 2010 6:10 PM

jennie wrote:

andy you are a remarkable man my heartfelt sympaphy 2 all ur family and friends rio r.i.p sweetheart xx

13 Nov 2010 11:20 PM

l bunce wrote:

i think to many people judge people to quickly and at a sad time like this i dont think her family and friends want to be reading horrible comments i dont know this lady but im sure she dont derserve this god bless u all thinking of u at such a sad time xx

12 Nov 2010 5:59 PM

Sandy wrote:

Rio was a smart, funny, caring and loving friend to all who knew her. She helped many people to conquer the demons that drove them to addiction. She used her own tragic past into helping others, and it's terribly sad that in the end she succumbed herself to the lure of of a drug she fought so hard to help others quit, after so many years clean. She was my dearest friend, and she will always live in my heart.

12 Nov 2010 1:25 PM

sam wrote:

Its just so sad. I wish they could find the sick people who did this. I'm still reeling. Much love to Andy. x

12 Nov 2010 11:06 AM

Nigel Leitch wrote:

Two beautiful people, wishing you all the best Andy. I miss you Rio.

12 Nov 2010 10:44 AM

Paul R wrote:

Rio was a lovely lady and will be missed by many. Such a sad thing to happen. Wishing Andy all the strength in the world to get through this difficult time. Rio was clever, wise and funny too, as well as kind, caring and great company. She was a one off. I will miss her.

12 Nov 2010 10:09 AM

jan wrote:

my heart goes out to this poor lady and her family. Drugs are evil, and once they get a hold of somebody's lives it is so hard to get away from them. people should be offering help and support to drug users, not condemnation. may Rio now rest in peace.

12 Nov 2010 9:53 AM

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

In Memory of Rio

I was with my wife as she passed away at 14.41 on Wednesday the 3rd November 2010. I sat with her and I held her hand. I told her that I loved her...and I also told her how she'd been a 'silly girl' for succumbing to a moment of weakness. She didn't expect to die. I still have her last text on my phone. It reads 'Sorry I missed your call. Doctor says there's a chance of death so I am scared shitless'
I am telling this story...the story of my wonderful wife...for many reasons. The first reason is to let people know just what a wonderful, remarkable and caring person she was. A person who would...and certainly anyone. You'll find more of this as the story unfolds. The second reason for telling this story is because I want to do a small part in warning others about the perils of drugs. Oh yes...that 'oh-so-fucking-boring' principle of lecture that we've heard so many times before. Let's Have Some Fun.

Kent Online: 4th November 2010.
The patient killed by anthrax was a 37-year-old woman, it was revealed today.

The victim from Maidstone, who has yet to be named, was a drug injecting heroin user.

She was admitted to Maidstone Hospital in a critical condition at the weekend, but died yesterday afternoon.

Kent Police, the Health Protection Agency and local NHS trusts have launched an investigation to trace the source of the contaminated drugs.

Health officials issued a statement on Wednesday to reassure the public there is little risk of the infection spreading.

Dr Mathi Chandrakumar, the director of Kent Health Protection Unit, said: "I'd like to reassure people that there is no risk to the general population, including close family members of the patient.

"It is extremely unlikely that this form of anthrax can spread from person to person.

"We continue to see occasional cases of this serious infection among injecting drug users, following a cluster of cases earlier this year."

Messages left on KentOnline described the victim as a "beautiful woman" and a "lovely lady".

Coroners confirmed yesterday a postmortem had yet to be carried out on the body.

According to the HPA, this is the fifth case of anthrax seen in an injecting drug user in England, the first being in London in February this year.

Similarities to the cases in Scotland suggest that the heroin, or a contaminated cutting agent mixed with the heroin, is the likely source of infection.

Dr Chandrakumar said: "Exposure to anthrax is now one of a number of risks that drug users are exposed to.

"All heroin users should seek urgent medical advice if they experience signs of infection such as redness or excessive swelling at or near an injection site, or other symptoms of general illness such a high temperature, chills or a severe headache or breathing difficulties, as early antibiotic treatment can be life-saving."

Then came the inevitable disparaging remarks:

Here's a thought, don't use Heroin. What's more upsetting is that some drug addled benefit scrounging addict is getting NHS treatment for something they've brought entirely on themselves.

That was the first one....good on ya S***** F******...go straight for the jugular.
That misguided remark certainly didn't start an avalanche of back-slapping hate-mongering...because the people who knew Rio came out in force to defend her...with some people who didn't know her. The point is...there was no mention of her being on benefits in the article. That was a huge leap to reach THAT particular conclusion. An Olympian leap.
Here are the follow-up comments....made over the next 5 days: (in reverse you might want to scroll down and come back up)

Lorraine wrote:

Im truely disgusted with these narrow minded views of some people , rio was my friend her husband is my friend and no one deserves this kind of abuse and public outing , I don't care what people think i know she was amazing careing person . And being able to write comments without knowing anything about someone get a life and do something constructive with your mind instead of sitting commenting on papers stories. rip rio i miss u so much x

Paul ( Maralyn ) wrote:

What I have heard on here so far from some people. about rio has been nice comemnts and I know her and her husband andy very well. and those people who can not say nice things about her on here as they dont know her should keep there mouths firmly shut and allow him to mourn in peace. R.I.P Rio and god bless you andy. ll be there for you.xx Maralyn

jennie wrote:

some of the comments are disgusting no 1 wakes up 1 morning a drug addict or drinker i lived with an addict that loved me so much and really didnt want to be and addict its an illness proven fact addiction is an illness,rio r.i.p and yes people she wll because the poor lady was unwell,all you nasty people out there lets just hope 1 day you dont become an addict,or ave to live with someone that as because still 2 this day i love my ex partner but could see him suffer nomore so before you run away with your mouths on here just stop and think it could be you that as to live with this 1 day god bless rio and all yourfamily and friends x

chrissie wrote:

Firstly I want to send my sympathy to Rio's husband and family.
I cannot believe some of the comments I have read on here, what are people thinking of, this is a very much loved lady who will be leave a huge whole in the lives of her family and friends. People have just jumped to conclusions without even stopping to think about what her circumstances might have been. No one takes drugs with the intention of becoming addicted to them. I have never taken drugs but my heart goes out to Rio and her husband and family at this sad time. For Gods sake people, show a bit of compassion. God bless you Rio x

Sorry wrote:

Id like to start by saying RIP Rio and thoughts are with your family..

Followed by my disgust for some of you and your comments.

1stly i will point out i have been addicted to this substance in the past so i know the pain and suffering it causes to those both that use it and them around you and it is a evil substance that i now no longer use.

In a perfect world no one would use this or any other similar substance, But this world is not perfect and so it can happen and not just to kids and people on benefits i was 40 when i first used any illegal substance, the reason may to many seem odd but my life as i knew it had fallen apart and i had always done what i considered the rite thing throughout my life and had ended up completely ruined through no fault of my own i add..

i turned to heroin because i knew it was the worst substance there was and basically my life at the time i felt nothing could make it worse, how wrong i was but at the time my head wasn't coming up with any better solutions and live or die wasn't anything that concerned me at the time because i didn't care at all.

through out my addiction i held on to my job never received any benefits what so ever although i was living on the streets or anywhere i could find shelter. I also managed to be with my son every weekend without fail and never brought him close to this part of my life at all.

What I'm trying to convey is this to those of you that have never used or been in close contact with friends or family that have or are uses please don't get self righteous it can happen to anyone at any time and 99% if not more that are addicted don't want to be and wish they had never used in the first place.The reason i used is still a confusing area in my life but i know it was partly driven by the fact i was and felt totally alone in this world with no one to turn to at all, this i know is not a excuse at all and there is no excuse but the only other ideas that went through my head at the time to me were all equally as bad in fact 1 or 2 i consider would possibly have been worse.

i consider myself 1 of the few lucky ones as i worked my way through the addiction as well as starting to put my life back together. But who knows someone may Knock my building of cards over again at anytime and this applies to everyone who reads this .. until you've been low enough to be there please don't kick the ones that are there because i assure you most don't want to be there and everyday is just a fight to survive till the next day.

Viv wrote:

Firstly,may I say my sympathy goes out to Rio's family and friends at this sad time.
Also, the media should get all the facts straight before making any comments, and causing upset to what is already a very painful time for those who knew her. Remember, the date is the only thing you can rely on being correct.

DEB wrote:


Doug wrote:

My deepest sympathies go to Rio's loved ones. Though I only knew her briefly, I found her to be an intelligent, witty, and kind person. It doesn't matter what anyone says here--it won't change the positive difference she made in the people's lives she touched. That's her true measure. I find judgmental people usually haven't faced tragedy or been truly challenged in life. I lost a brother to suicide after many long years of his struggling with alcohol and drug use because of bipolar disease and physical problems. He was smart, funny, cared deeply about his family, and was in constant pain. So to those of you who read a headline and feel righteous enough to make uninformed comments, just consider that your turn may come one day. My respect for Rio and her husband and family has grown since I've found this discussion. I hope you can find some measure of comfort in knowing others have had similar experiences and understand what you are going through. And that Rio is no longer suffering.

<3 wrote:

To the misguided fools on here who have been casually slagging my wife off...someone they don't even know...hear this. Go and spread your evil tentacles over the next issue that takes your fancy...because your remarks have hurt me and they have hurt my family and they have hurt my friends. To the person who said 'I can't feel sorry for the lady' Well...guess what? She wouldn't want your sympathy...and neither would I?
Personally...I think you should go and hang your head in shame.It's one thing not to care...that's wife would have understood that...but to publicly attack the memory of a much-missed person...or any just apalling.
To all the people who have come on here to give support...the ones I know personally and the ones I don't know personally...thank you...and thank goodness that you are all not driven by the stupidity and ignorance that is driving the disrespectful few. I don't need to come on here to defend her...but I can't let her be trashed like this. The friends who have come on here to support her obviously feel the same. Sleep well my can rest...assured that I will never drag myself down to a level of ignorance in the way that the very few have done. We are so profoundly proud of you xxx

David Rotherham wrote:

Firstly, this story illustrates the terrible dilemma of the drug problem: Use can and does sometimes lead to wrecked or lost lives. But, driving it underground keeps standards low, leading to this particular lost life, amongst others.
But the comments thread goes somewhere else. Countless good lives are cut off by bad deaths, while the wicked have as good a chance of any of gently dying of old age. So, for some of the posters to build a dark fantasy of the deceased's life from the one fact of how they died is ignorance and arrogance, and, beyond that, an insult to the bereaved.
I did not know the deceased, but we had mutual friends including her widower. They, who actually knew her, thought the world of her, and are distraught at her passing. Would the people who knew the makers of the nasty comments miss them when their times come? Or would they just think "Good riddance to the old bigot"?

J wrote:

I'm amazed that people who do not the details of what happened to this person can be so sure that she was a scrounging junkie. I knew this lady and I know her husband. She was an intelligent, warm and caring person who helped people everyday. She had a job, family and friends who loved and respected her. She was someone who also was in pain. She had suffered from many ailments in her life and was often in agony. Before you are so quick to judge someone you don't know, maybe you should take the time to ask yourself why someone would use drugs-illegal or otherwise. No-one is disputing that heroin is illegal and dangerous or that people make their own choices in life. All I'm saying is that sometimes people resort to doing things that are bad for them because they feel they have no other "choice", because they are not getting the help or medication they need. I know for a fact that this lady spent a long time trying to find the right doctor to help her with her physical pain, perhaps this is why she ended up in the terrible situation of using heroin. I would like to say that my thoughts are with her husband and family and those people who actually knew her and loved her. She will be greatly missed.

Holy C wrote:

When somebody dies, it's actually really hard for those around them. Yes, really. The last thing their friends and loved ones need is to feel that they have to invest inordinate amounts of time and effort that would be better spent in communion and healing simply defending (articulately and with restraint, I must say)the memory of that person from casual, ignorant online comment. If you have the time to come online and judge people you don't even know, why not give up your idle habit and give that time to a good cause - perhaps by volunteering for a charity or addressing your own health care directly and then sharing with others.

05 Nov 2010 10:47 PM

rachel wrote:

just wanted to say to all of the family how very very sad i am for your loss. I am peggy and ians daughter and know that this woman was a very helpful and friendly but so very ill woman i know she had her problems but please dont we all.... me included yes as some have said on here she is somebodys daughter and wife and mother and that family i know are dealing with enough grief at this very moment they really dont need some of the comments on here i mean there but for the grace of god go I???? does that mean anything to any one of you????? thought it would ..... while i am here may i offer the family of this very ILL LADY my sincere condolences and may you all be ALLOWED to grieve in peace god bless each and every one of you xxxxx

:-( wrote:


Thanks again for your reply and may I say the facts and discussion around anthrax
in your last post is exactly the response, discussion and debate I would have expected as a reponse to this unfortunate story, as is the differing opinions on drugs.

I am very sad however that instead too many personal attacks and comments have been made against our family member and friend. We all love the people in our lives and hate to hear them being misrepresented and attacked in this way and this is the only reason I have even come on here to comment.

I appeal to everyone on here please limit your discussions to debate the facts and not continue to attack the individual, we loved her and so did every single person that met her and we are all deeply sorry she has passed away. All your comments do is make our grief that much harder.

Lisa wrote:

What if she wasn't a woman when her addiction began, but a girl? What if, when her addiction began, she lived in a country where healthcare isn't free? If you're weak and the only ones around you willing to listen are those that would prey on your youth and vulnerability, what then? Just say no? I am thankful that I have never been left so weakened, thankful that I have never had to say no, that I have always had great friends around me. Friends like Rio.

Paul R wrote:

OK John

You are obviously misinterpreting what I am trying to say. I am talking about having compassion for someone at a time of loss. It’s not about drugs or the taking of them or not. I am simply trying to say that whatever the circumstances of the death. My opinion is that you should show more compassion and respect. The fact that you still continue to say. “i cant feel sorry for the lady” shows, at best, you have a very hard heart John. I hope when your day of judgement comes, that people have more compassion and respect for you than you appear to have for others.

Nigel Leitch wrote:

So your view is that drugs are bad news? And we have opposing views? That's news to me and probably news to everyone else. You claim that because a drug is illegal it is bad, so as I said are alcohol and Cigarettes good for you? And regards the path my friend took,if people followed in her footsteps the world would be a better place with a hell of a lot more love in it. It is very easy to be rude and bitter, it is alot harder to read and have faith and show love. i know somebody who showed alot of love and got it in spades in return, she is dead now.

To Paul R and :-( wrote:

Just in case people take offence or start saying im a coward without using a name,my name is John (Doesnt really make much difference on a board i would have thought but not in any way hiding).

To :-( - again a very well put posting and i do feel sorry for you but you are a credit to your family.The reason not much is being said regarding Anthrax is fairly simple to explain.Its highly doubtful it would be say terror related as there would be a larger outbreak with numbers coming to light very quickly of Anthrax related heroin deaths.One of the reasons the drug industry is so dangerous as i am sure you know is the conditions its produced and manufactured in.These places have very little hygeine control and are open to anything and they are not going to report a health outbreak to anyone if it happens during production.Fact is at the core of production there could have been animals with the anthrax spores and thus a small amount made it into a batch.If there is a sudden huge death toll in the heroin community from anthrax then i would agree that something may well have been added but the government are usually open regarding publishing deaths caused by things like this and they have not tried to keep this quiet so i dont believe it is a widespread terror attempt.

To Paul R - My pain has not caused me bitterness at all its made me realise how life can be when you have to go through tough times.Like i say i cant feel sorry for the lady and that is because she made the choice and took the risk,and sadly for her the gamble did not work.I have indeed had morphiene on a number of occasions,and at times it was not very easy to get from Doctors so i had to just struggle with what i could.I took morphiene when prescribed as its legal,manufactured under strict control,and done so in a hygenic way and not taken knowing its lining criminal underworlds pockets.

But i did find it rather odd you came on making all those comments towards me then finish with the "Anyway i havent come on here to argue with you".You are right i do have an opinion which i stand by that drugs are bad news and its been shown.I sure as heck would not go to a drug dealer for antibiotics for a small kid so why go to them for any other form of self medication?Sometimes to get medical pain relief you have to fight for it as i have done and i hope others reading this will not take the same route this young lady took because it is NOT worth it.

But you are right,enoughs enough and views aired.I will stick to my views that drugs are nothing but bad news and you can stick to your opposing views.

Nigel Leitch wrote:

Dear Mrs I'm Sorry,

Obviously if anthrax was in your cup of tea, you would want the response to be a bit quicker.Yes illegal drugs are illegal, so does that mean M*rphine, Alcohol and cigarettes are good for you?
I can't recall anyone saying the victim did nothing wrong, we all make mistakes. The lady was a lovely lady and she was loved by many, the comments posted on here that are negative, will never change the opinion of the people who love her. She is a beautiful lady and she always will be.

nicci wrote:

she was a warm,caring,lovely lady and did not deserve this. Please have some respect for her family and friends who loved her dearly.

:-( wrote:

Thank you for your response

I am a family member and I too am proud of her husband for his level headed response because you wouldn't believe the upset and distress reading some of these comments has caused.

I agree with some of your comments although do not necessarily agree that they apply to this circumstance or my original post.

I do agree that every individual has a responsibilty to themselves and others and I admire the fact that you and many others have been able to deal with your pain without resorting to something so unfortunate. However sometimes people are too young, unsupported or their pain is not just physical but emotional too. She made a sorry mistake when she took Heroin for the first time and unfortunately despite her best efforts to change this mistake she has ultimately paid a very sad price.

I just want to say also that I never said that the government should study the purity of drugs etc I simply said that Anthrax could be used to poision anything and that this Woman did not die from a Heroin overdose, she died because it was poisoned. We do not know who poisoned it or why and because of that perhaps these deaths need to be considered more carefully.

I am surprised that the comments on here are not more concered about the discovery of anthrax instead of being pretty much ill informed opinionated views on the lifestyle of a tragic woman who has never harmed anyone except unfortunately herself.

Paul R wrote:

To the person who doesn't seem to have a name who starts "I'm Sorry" etc

Your pain has obviously made you a bitter person with no compassion if you need to come on here and say things like "but i cannot feel sorry for the women herself", about a person who was much loved, and for her family to read in their time of great grief.

It will probably help them a lot, thanks for sharing your thoughts on that. In the meantime, a tragic death has occurred of a young woman for whatever reason. All the others stuff is not going to bring her back. Just let her memory be.

Maybe not everyone is as strong as you at bearing the pain and some need some help wherever they can find it? More fool you for sitting in pain when maybe a substance could ease it. Cannabis is legal in some parts of the world for medication purposes. As you probably know, diomorphine is the medical term for heroin. Ever had diomorphine for your pain?

Anyway, I haven't come on here to argue with you and you are entitled to your opinion, I don't want to cheapen the memory of someone special by getting into a morality debate, but feel I need to speak up for a friend who cannot speak up for herself.

to :-( wrote:

Im sorry but i have to disagree with a number of points you put.

The fact you knew her and she was a lovely person i will not dispute that as you are in a better position than me to judge that,and i do feel sorry for those family members that have had to go through this event but i cannot feel sorry for the women herself.

I have had severe back problems since a young age and have gone through agony,and i mean REAL agony.They type that leaves you screaming in pain on a bathroom floor wanting to die to make the pain go away but NEVER once have i gone looking for illegal drugs to ease it.I have been offered numerous times cannabis being told it will ease the pain but have never taken it.Why did i not?For the simple reason you start to dance with the devil so to speak then theres only one way things will go.And this is what has happened.

How can you say instead of blaming the drugs you should start getting the government to look into poisonings etc?Its because it is illegal!!!How are you going to look into the puriety of drugs etc when its illegal to take them.Its like watching the jeremy kyle show the fact that the obvious happenings are everyone elses fault bar the person that took it.Its like someone dying in a car crash through drink driving then blaming the car manufacturer for allowing them to be able to drive even when drunk!Drugs cause misery and if people have not learned that by now then to bad,they cause misery and if you go looking to buy for whatever reason you are fuelling a trade which just spreads more misery.

I feel bad typing the above but it has to be said.Yes it is sad when someone passes but to self medicate with something like heroin is madness and this is the outcome that happens.

I must say though that her husband (i believe its her husbands) comments are very level headed and do his family proud.I am in no way attacking him or his family,as my heart DOES go out to them.I am attacking the points that people seem to make regarding that its everyone elses fault apart from the user.Remember the old phrase "Just say no" and if you cant then dont blame anyone when the sad event comes about.

:-( wrote:

We all have our opinions about drugs and drug dealers and most of us would rather live in a society without them but it is so shortsighted and ignorant for people to come on here and attempt to judge and undermine the memory of such a thoughtful, caring and lovely young woman.

This woman was a victim not a dealer, when she was very young and at her lowest point in life someone took advantage of her situation and offered her something to take the pain away and committed her to this addiction. Lets hope that when our children hit a low in life that they are surrounded by good people and not those who wish to pray on their misfortunes.

Despite this she did try and fight her way to recovery and to love and help others. She did not involve anyone else in her problems. I knew her and loved her and had no idea that she had been forced to resort to this. I cannot believe that she is gone and the world will not be a better place without her, she will be sorely missed by more people than I have ever even known.

Please also remember that this issue isn't even really about drugs, she did not die because she took heroin she died because what she took was poisioned. Surely the issue that should be being debated here is, "Is enough being done to find out how and why this has happened?" because quite frankly it could as easily be something else that carries this danger. If this poisioning is deliberate perhaps heroin has been chosen deliberately because of attitudes like some of those being aired on here- these people care and do a little bit less when a drug user is murdered. If someone had died through eating or drinking an everyday product that had been poisioned every one of us would be demanding to know why.

Ellie wrote:

I feel sorry for everyone who is slagging her of! Heorine is addictive just like smoking and people find it so hard to quit!! I feel sorry for the family and hope they are okay. So if you don't have anything good to say don't comment at all!! xx

Maria wrote:

I find it really infuriating reading some of the comments by incredibly ignorant and judgmental people. They clearly have no idea about the varied and often very traumatic circumstances which lead to addiction whether it be alcohol or class A drugs.
I am so very sorry for Rio's husband and all the people who cared about her.Heroin is an incredibly addictive drug both mentally and physically and most users do not take it to have fun or get high but for temporary relief of the horrific effects of withdrawal.The fact that this relatively recent problem of contaminated batches has arisen is absolutely tragic.I hope that her husband is well supported and looks after himself.

Nigel Leitch wrote:

To Jane and Elaine, I have no doubt you have had bad experiences with drug users/dealers. And yes Alcohol and Cigarettes are legal, but don't they place a greater burden on the NHS and don't they also cause more random acts of violence? I am not in any way belittling your views, drug dealers are sc*m, the lady in this story was not, most of the comments in return were related to the use of the word "Junkie". I don't believe anyone has a right to put your kids or yourself in danger, in any way. Thanks for replying with your comments. I miss my friend alot.

jane wrote:

although sad for all the family members can i just add that i have the greatest misfortune of having to live next to a dealer. the constant in and out all day of people looking for there next fix. the police raids all hours of the night that keep my young children awake . the fear of some of the people that enter the premises for myself and my other law abiding neighbours. sure we all have vices some smoke some drink but these are all legal. i know how it feels to lose someone close and i feel for the family, but maybe they could help others to turn a corner and get clean or report the person that sold the poison in the first place. then just maybe i will feel safe in my own home and this nightmare can stop.

<3 wrote:

Elaine....I appreciate you coming back...and I realise that a lot of dealers/addicts are bad people. However...for that person to call someone they don't know a 'drug addled benefit scrounging addict' is simply unfair and is certainly speaking ill of the dead.
I wouldn't wish what my wife was going through on anyone. I have never known anyone to go through the amount of pain that she was suffering.

amy wrote:

This is a person you are all talking about!!!a person who i love very dearly and know well!!this person is worth so much more than any of you ignorant a**holes who put your horrific comments!!!!!it hurts so much to think that you can even take yourself the right to comment!!!you do not know anything!!
To my best friend: i love you with all my heart,and one day i will see you again!!i love you and miss you so much!!my thoughts are with the family!!R.I.P My beautiful friend!!oh and bye the way,this person was in employment and not on the dole!!she took the drug to mask the pain that she was constantly in!!so get your facts right!!!

Elaine wrote:

This is a very sad story. My condolences to the lady's family. However, the people that spoke out should not be flamed as sadly in the norm drug addicts are not nice people who help others. They are so hell bent on self destruction that they take others down with them.
I am not ashamed to say my thoughts were negative as well.
Perhaps in future we will stop and think that each story is different.

john wrote:

Heres a thought, ive been off the booze for over 10 years, and i have had many lectures/comments etc, about how its all my fault, one person in particular gave me a telling off, about my old habits, etc, unfortunatley he lost most of his family in a car crash sometime after, and he hit the booze. so the point is befoere you mug someone off about their adictions. just remember it could be you or a family member next. no-one is immune from addiction. but rather than send hateful comments to the person who wrote the unkind post, i will send my love, becos it seems ur suufering too.

Mack D wrote:

I find it very sad that people like Sandra and Bilbo have such a pious attitude and can be so callous. A beautiful person lost her life to something horrible, and to scrutinize her... you have no soul and if you do - it is black as dirt.
You do not know the circumstances of her death - only that it was heroin related. More importantly, you know nothing of her LIFE, so I guess it's easy to pass judgment, especially when news articles like this 'remove the human factor' and just state self serving details.
Right now, my thoughts are with her family, her friends and her husband.

Nigel Leitch wrote:

Also what people are failing to realise, is any person deciding to experiment with heroin that is laced with anthrax may well die. it's not about Junkies or bad people, it is about contaminated drugs. What is written below me made me cry, if you can read that comment and not feel a thing, you aren't alive. Everybody at some stage in their life will experiment, don't ever write off a person who experiments. Without experimentation life is boring. The early comments on here made me fume, what gives anyone the right to say those things? You didn't know her, end of story. The people that did know her LOVED her, so rather than be a coward hiding behind a monitor, ask yourself, have you done enough for people to love you? I miss her like mad.

Paul R wrote:

People should not be too quick to judge. As her husband says, she was a very caring and beautiful person. She would help anyone. She paid heavily for a moment of weakness. She will be missed by many many people. She was much loved and respected. I will always remember her with great fondness.

Anon, Kent wrote:

My thoughts go out to the family of this woman.

Heroin addiction is not just something that happens to people on benefits, I have personal experience of a family member who spent many years as an addict and thankfully is now clean.

It can happen to any family so to those who are so quick to judge I would say I hope it never happens in your family, none of us think it will be our loved ones but when it is you certainly have your eyes opened.

To those relatives and friends of this lady I am so sorry for your loss, it sounds as if she had made great inroads into turning her life around and helping others and I hope you can take some comfort from that.

To those who found it necessary to make nasty judgemental comments I hope you have read the messages now that family and friends have left and have had second thoughts about your earlier comments.

Lisa wrote:

Shame on you, Sandra. She was every bit as wonderful as her husband says she was. I will miss her hugely. She helped others. She valued everyone. She never judged. And she was worth a million of you.

Vicki wrote:

I know people in the past that have taken heroin and all of them have either been thrown out by their parents or have had a tragic past which has made them turn to drugs. They start off maybe smoking cannibis and then that doesnt help so move on to harder stuff. I think people that automatically assume she was on benefits just tar everyone with the same brush when that it not the case. The couple of people i knew were in full time jobs and paying for it themselves not on behalf of us.

My thoughts are with the family i no how hard it is to lose someone like this x

ann wrote:

what a shame- what a sad loss to her close family members- yes drugs - smoking - drinking - gambling- are all vices - and im sure all have vices in 1 form or another- surely?/ people are quick to judge and pass comments- what about the people who tout the streets that get these innocent soles hooked in the first place?

<3 wrote:

I shouldn't have to come on here and defend her...but I am doing so just tell you that she was no drug-addled benefits scrounger. She has never had a penny in benefits. She had a problem with drugs many years ago...because of something terrifically horrific that happened to her. She beat it and she turned her life around and she has spent the past 7 years helping others. She trained properly to do that.She has had many health problems of late...she has been in constant pain...agony even...for a long time. All I can think is that she was so desperately suffering that she took the chance to have one more ease her pain. I just don't know...but I would be ashamed of myself if I was making comments like Sandra has done...judging someone she doesn't know...based on stereotyping and sweeping generalisation. My wife was an absolute angel who wanted to help other people. It was her only ambition. I'll leave you with an example of how much she would go out of her way for others. She had a new jacket...a black bomber jacket..the type with the orange lining. She had only had it for a cost her £65. We were walking through London and we saw a man begging in the was a cold day...and Rio took her jacket off and gave it to the man...saying..."You need this more than I do mate"
Ask many people would do that? I wouldn't!!!! Though maybe I would now. If you still want to take the moral high Sandra...maybe it's best you don't come on here and rip apart someone you don't some one said...there are family and friends who are grieving...and you haven't helped. Thank you Nigel...thank you Stacey...thanks to anyone else who had the decency to support her x

stacey wrote:

ok and my tying is a little rubbish because my dog jumped on my keyboard and lost most my keys!! but my point is made

stacey wrote:

What on earth is wrong with some of u people?? this could b someones mother, sister, and is certainly someones daughter, drug is an additction just like smoking, just like drinkin and unfortunaltey in this world its a common thing instead of sittin her slaggin off a dead women how about taking a minute to think why she mite of turnt of drugs, what happened to her in life that was so bad that she felt the need to to heroin to block out and forget some horrible things that happened to her, its easy for u to jusge if u havent been in that situation, god some people are so judgemental wen all they do is go to work 9-5 and seem to think the world is a pretty place people need to get a grip and realise wot goes on in this world everywhere and to ''normall'' people

Another Phil wrote:

It saddens me at how hateful and swift to judge people can be when they have no idea of a person's circumstances. Nigel is spot on with his comment.

sara wrote:

what a sad story i feel for the family she has left behind.. i find it funny that people can assume she was a addict on benefits, not all addicts are on benefits and bad things happen in life,so people find a way to cope,some go to drink,some go to drugs and some go even further. Even some celebs do drugs and ur'd think their life was good with the money most them are on.. im just sayin it is not fair to assume anything! R.I.P

Nigel Leitch wrote:

Maybe, just maybe this person was a lovely person, and she was.
All this story proves is that this person took Heroin once.
Most of the people on here are ignorant morons. The lady in question has loved ones and you need to respect that. i don't like drugs myself, but they are a part of society that is not restricted to wealth or fame.
Have some respect, the internet is not a tool for your hatred at someone elses detriment. This lady was a beautiful lady and she did you no wrong.

Elaine wrote:

OK So where in Kent was this?

Jim wrote:

I feel sorry for you Keira as its usually the family that suffers.

However i cant feel sorry for the victim because if you use heroin you really dont care much about your life and in the end its only going to end up going one way.One less drug user on the street,shame they couldnt have taken the dealer with them.

Mrs A Friend wrote:

keira, wrote:

this is my auntie :'(

I'm sorry for your loss Auntie sweetie x

scott wrote:

Serves them right, I have no time for junkies.

keira, wrote:

this is my auntie :'(

don wrote:


Bilbo wrote:

Phil: Sandra's comments are probably accurate.

Not many people in work can afford to blow their lives away on heroin, and I think you'll find that most heroin users are actually unemployed so Sandra's comments are merely assumptions based on life experience and probability.

You can argue the sky is purple with orange spots all you like, but chances are it's grey with bits of blue most days.

Phil wrote:

@Sandra Foreman

While I agree it is better not to use heroin, nowhere in the article does it state that the person concerned was on benefits - so why make rabid assumptions/accusations based on your own prejudices rather than the facts as presented?

So...there you have the first public response to my wife's death. Tributes were flooding in on FaceBook and MySpace...far too many to chronicle.
In my next post I will tell you about the unusual circumstances in which Rio and myself met and got married...and I will tell you a little about her past...which is rather pertinent to the story.