VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Lavair Randle had battled addiction for three decades.
The 58-year-old man was in the process of going back to rehab when he died of an overdose last month. His body, his family said, was found next to a fire hydrant on Loretta Lane in Virginia Beach.
“Just imagining his last moment. Sitting against the fire hydrant. What was going on in his head? What was he thinking? What happened? It just plays over and over in my head,” said his sister, Telisa Randle.
Four days ago, Telisa Randle buried her brother.
“When you first find out, you go through that shock and you can’t think,” she said. “Everything around you just doesn’t exist.”
She was out to breakfast with friends last month when she got the call from Virginia Beach Police. Her older brother Lavair overdosed on crack cocaine laced with fentanyl. His body was found by another addict who called for help. Randle’s brother and two others died from the same batch that day — prompting police to issue a call to action.
“The tears, they just come. They just come out of nowhere,” Randle said.
Randle tells us Lavair’s addiction started when they were teens living in Chicago. Her brother was sitting on the edge of an open window and fell several feet to the ground, injuring his shoulder and head resulting in chronic pain.
Randle was one of the first in the family to learn of Lavair’s addiction to drugs and would secretly accompany him to rehab. Those meetings, Randle says, inspired her to become a substance abuse counselor, devoting her life to helping those like Lavair.
“Each person that’s addicted to drugs has a different story. It’s not all what the stereotype thinks. Even as a professional, even as a professional, the high percentage of my clients aren’t they won’t listen to their parents and want to be outside. They all come from accidents. I’m grateful for the relationship that I had with him. No matter where I go, no matter what city I move to, what state I move to, there is addiction. Everywhere I go from this point on, I will be thinking about my brother,” Randle stated.
Randle’s message to those with a loved one battling addiction?
Have hope, and be kind.
“There is no more suffering, there is no more wondering,” she said. “The only thing that is left to get is closure.”