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The love relationship between Dawn Trask and Ryan Troy Tripp was borne from unspeakable tragedy. Theirs is a story of loss, shock, futility, anger and the resurrection of hope and love.
Trask lost her son Tyler Colleton of Westford on Feb. 18, 2016, when he was just 21. Ryan Troy Tripp, Jr., died at age 26 on April 12, 2015 in Falmouth.
The couple spent Valentine’s Day this week in Falmouth doing advocacy work for their Boots on the Ground non profit organization founded to help opiate addicts and drug and alcohol abusers reach out for recovery. Their mobile phones are turned on 24/7 and they’ll drop whatever they’re doing to help an overdose victim. Both are certified to administer Narcan, a drug which binds to brain receptors and temporarily helps the opioid user to resume breathing.
An overdose occurs when a drug user goes into respiratory arrest followed by cardiac arrest. The window of opportunity to administer Narcan is only about eight to 10 minutes.
Trask and Tripp met in August 2016 in Haverhill at a speaking engagement about the opioid crisis. It was six months after Colleton’s death from a fentanyl overdose and Tripp had asked Trask to tell her story. It was the first time she spoke publicly about her son’s death.
“That day was a special day as two hawks flew above circling the event for hours,” Trask stated.
For Trask and Tripp it was a sign from their two angels.
“We started dating and it led into a beautiful relationship where we get very beautiful clear signs from both our boys Ryan, Jr. and Tyler regularly…Angels,” Trask stated.
People in need of recovery resources or placement are encouraged to call Trask at 978.984.2307, or Tripp at 508.317.7728.