MECHANICSVILLE – Christy Farmer continues to suffer from the May 7 death of her son, Henry “Cullen” Hazelwood, but she is determined to find justice – and she stands firm in her belief that he had been on the path to sobriety after battling drug addiction.
“It would be easy to write him off as just another addict. You could ignore the fact that he graduated from Lee-Davis High School at age 16 and was the third generation in his family to be a Lee-Davis alum. You could ignore the fact that he was working towards his journeyman’s card. You could ignore the fact that he had plans to join the military in the summer of 2019, which would fulfill a lifelong desire to serve his country. You could ignore the fact that he had graduated from Hanover County Community Services Board’s Drug Court program on May 1, 2019, and had months of sobriety under his belt. You could ignore the fact that for years he worked at Cullen’s Cove and Awful Arthur’s simultaneously while attending middle and high school full-time. You could ignore the fact that he was loved by so many people for his kind and generous heart; sly humor; strong work ethic, and charming personality,” she said of her son.
Christy fights through her grief to bring attention “to help avoid similar deaths occurring.”
While Christy has suspicions surrounding an individual that she alleges contributed to her son’s untimely death, no name is being published as no legal action has taken place. She has contacted the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office to express her concerns.
A spokesman for Col. David R. Hines, sheriff, told The Local that the investigation continues, with coordinated efforts being handled with the assistance of the office of Commonwealth’s Attorney R.E. “Trip” Chalkley III.
Christy’s pursuit for justice stems from what she believes is “careless disregard of another human’s life.”
After graduating from the Hanover Community Service Drug Court, Cullen, Christy said, “had been clean for quite some time and planned to join the military in the summer of 2019.”
On May 6, Christy said her son was reportedly with the unidentified individual “and took drugs. Cullen had a heart attack from an accidental overdose.” According to the Medical Examiner’s Office, she said alcohol, marijuana and cocaine were found in his system.
For more than an hour, Christy said her son was being driven around in his car rather than being taken to Memorial Regional Medical Center. He was taken to the home of a friend, who was out when they arrived. When that friend got home, Christy said, “He saw how bad the situation actually was. He screamed for his neighbor to call an ambulance and started CPR and put Cullen in the shower to try to shock Cullen back to consciousness.”
Deputies came to the scene, but did not learn where the drugs had been purchased during questioning.
Cullen was transported to the Emergency Room; Christy was called at 11:30 p.m. Her son was taken off life support around 1 p.m. on May 7 and died, having never regained consciousness.
On June 22, which would have been Cullen’s 19th birthday, Christy said family and friends gathered at Buckroe Beach in Hampton for a Celebration of Life. Christy noted that they had been celebrating Cullen’s birthday at Buckroe Pier every year since he was a child until he was 16.
She said that was what he considered his “happy place.”
Her son’s death most likely saved others though as he was an organ donor.
Christy continues to wait for the toxicology report. “Honestly, we do not know exactly why Cullen died. I am told the reports take three to four months to complete.”
“Hanover County has a drug problem. This is hard to admit,” Christy said. “We live in a nice area with good schools, upscale neighborhoods, convenient shopping centers and plenty of opportunity for advancement.”
She did point out that those needing help with addiction have avenues available, including the McShin Foundation, Narcotics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous, and the Hanover Community Services Board, as well as many churches. Most programs are free of charge and confidential.
“If you are with someone
that overdoses, please take them
directly to the nearest Emergency Room or call 911 immediately,” she added.
“A drug possession charge is a legal problem, but it is better than having a friend die.
Loved ones of someone using drugs also can receive help from Families Anonymous.
Cullen’s funeral was held at 2 p.m. on May 13 at the Walnut Grove Baptist Church at 7046 Cold Harbor Rd. in Mechanicsville. Interment followed at Signal Hill Memorial Park.
Cullen is buried next to Christy’s grandparents. “My grandmother babysat him, and he is named Henry for my grandfather.”
His father, Rob Hazelwood, delivered the eulogy and is brother, William Hazelwood, served as a pallbearer.
Monaghan Funeral Home at 7300 Creighton Parkway in Mechanicsville was in charge of arrangements.