Fifteen-year-old Tyrone Woxvold died from a heroin overdose on Sunday. His devastated mother, Carolyn, blames the easy access to drugsfor his death.
Fifteen-year-old Tyrone Woxvold died from a heroin overdose on Sunday. His devastated mother, Carolyn, blames the easy access to drugsfor his death.

Teen heroin victim ’slipped through the cracks’

Young teen Tyrone Woxvold is the latest victim of Victoria's ­illegal drugs epidemic.

The 15-year-old died from a ­heroin overdose in the bathroom of his Richmond family home on ­Sunday. His devastated mum ­Carolyn says he fell through the cracks of the system - and blames his death on easy access to drugs on Melbourne's streets.

"(Drugs) are easier to get than cigarettes, than anything else," she said. "It is easy if you want it, it is everywhere, in every suburb.

"In the last three months he started to get to know everyone around here, and started using ice.

"This could happen to anybody. He didn't belong in that world."

Tyrone Woxvold. Picture: Mark Stewart
Tyrone Woxvold. Picture: Mark Stewart

 

Tyrone with his sister, Monique.
Tyrone with his sister, Monique.

Tyrone's death is likely to further expose systemic failings within government services.

The Herald Sun is legally unable to detail these failings.

Carolyn said the son she adored had "lost his way" but he should have received better care.

"He slipped through the cracks, he should have been monitored ­better," she said.

"The system abandoned him. He put his trust in them and they weren't there when he needed them," she added.

Grieving Carolyn had the devastating task of having to formally identify her son's body on Wednesday.

"No one wants to see their son in a morgue, having to prepare their ­funeral," she said.

Tyrone had been using heroin for less than a year before ­fatally overdosing on Sunday morning.

"He was such a good boy, I just want him back," his mum said.

"He meant everything to me, he is the reason why I get up every day."

She said her son did not have the "right support" from authorities to deal with a variety of longstanding ­mental health issues.

"(He was) emotionally ­unstable and the right supports weren't there," she said.

"He was a bit low in self-confidence and esteem.

"He was such a good boy, he just lost his way and didn't know how to deal with what he was feeling."

Tyrone was a troubled boy. Picture: Mark Stewart
Tyrone was a troubled boy. Picture: Mark Stewart

 

Tyrone had been using ice and heroin for less than a year. Picture: Mark Stewart
Tyrone had been using ice and heroin for less than a year. Picture: Mark Stewart

Tyrone had struggled his whole life with the death of his father Malcolm Woxvold, who died before Tyrone's second birthday.

"Unfortunately it followed him throughout his childhood," his mum said.

"He was very troubled boy with emotional issues before he started using ice. It helped him process everything that he was going through."

Tyrone had also slipped through the cracks of the state education system.

He started year 7 at ­Westall Secondary College in Melbourne's southeast in 2015 but struggled with ­attendance and compliance and was expelled not long after he started.

"He had some issues," Carolyn said. "He wasn't ­allowed to go back to school, he needed counselling but they didn't do it."

Since his death, she has found a letter he had written to her. It said: "Mum I love you, sorry I give you a hard time, I want to give you everything back you give me."

Tyrone, who has two younger siblings, will be ­buried in Dandenong after a service ­tomorrow.

 

Tyrone with his brother, Colin.
Tyrone with his brother, Colin.

 

EVERY PARENT'S WORST NIGHTMARE

Richmond mother Carolyn Woxvold, 43, found her son's limp body early on Sunday morning lying on her tiled bathroom floor.

By the time paramedics arrived, her firstborn child was declared dead.

"He was adorable, he was bright, intelligent, cheeky, he had such a good heart," Ms Woxvold said.

"He was one in a million."

A quote on his Facebook profile tragically says: "Die with memories, Not dreams."

Born in January 2004, Tyrone was weeks away from his 16th birthday.

Carolyn Woxvold with a photo of Tyrone. Picture: Mark Stewart
Carolyn Woxvold with a photo of Tyrone. Picture: Mark Stewart

 

Tyrone fell in with the wrong crowd.
Tyrone fell in with the wrong crowd.

 

"We were talking about booking him in for his learner's," Ms Woxvold said.

"The night before he died he was even looking online for jobs.

"It wasn't about the money but he wanted to do the right thing, to make me proud."

He was still contemplating what he wanted to do with his life and was considering a career in the building industry.

"Every day all he wanted was me and him to get settled," she said.

The grief-stricken mother said her son had started to take an interest in fashion and designer brands.

"He loved his fashion designing - that was his hobby," she said.

" His polo shirts, his satchels and his jewellery. That is what he would do every day."

Tyrone lived in a cramped one-bedroom apartment with his mother and her partner - and slept on a couch.

He was not attending school and instead wandered the streets of Richmond, quickly falling in with the wrong crowd. And then he started taking drugs.

One of the side effects of Tyrone's methamphetamine use was a dramatic weight loss, which helped him to "start feeling good" about himself.

It became a destructive cycle.

His last picture taken at KFC shows the devastating toll illicit drugs take on the human body.

On his last day alive, Tyrone was "hanging out" with his family.

"We don't have much money, we don't go places, we just spent time with each other," Ms Woxvold said.

MORE NEWS

PATIENT DIES WAITING AN HOUR FOR AMBULANCE

EX-MAYOR'S BOAST: WE'VE TAKEN OVER FROM CASEY

THE 'STRATEGY' THAT LET BOURKE ST KILLER ESCAPE

READ THE RIPPLE EFFECT

"We were watching TV, I did washing, he did washing, he cleaned out the car."

Family friend Brie Moloney said people needed help before they started resorting to drugs.

"No one wants to be a drug addict," she said.

"There's always something behind why people take drugs; people need to realise that and not turn their backs."

Ms Woxvold has a simple message to parents: "No matter how hard it gets, always be there. You can never turn your back on them, no matter what, even when it gets hard".

brianna.travers@news.com.au



Warwick enthusiasts gutted after Holden burn out

premium_icon Warwick enthusiasts gutted after Holden burn out

More Aussie than football, meat pies and kangaroos, the iconic car brand was...

Engagement ring found among ash of burned family home

premium_icon Engagement ring found among ash of burned family home

WARWICK couple mourn the loss of their first home to freak accident.

Rain can’t dampen excitement for Killarney Show

premium_icon Rain can’t dampen excitement for Killarney Show

Organisers vow to go ahead with show, in rain or shine, in hopes they can garner...