Tragic family's hope for other addicts
'I hope today I find some peaceAnd these bad dreams will finally cease.'They are the words of a drug addict imprisoned by his own crippling addiction.
'I hope today I find some peace
And these bad dreams will finally cease.'
They are the words of a drug addict imprisoned by his own crippling addiction.
Yet Glenn Paternoster was not to find the better days he searched for in his poem.
Instead, his heroin addiction was to contribute to his untimely death and leave his family considering all his potential that has gone to waste.
Glenn died aged 32 after battling his addiction and wishing he could change his life.
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Today his family urged others to seek help with their own addictions and avoid a fate like Glenn's.
His brother Scott, of Chilton Road, Ipswich, said: “There are a thousand people out there on the streets tonight who are in the same position as Glenn was - addicted to a drug that has no place in our society.
“But it is in our society and it is getting worse.”
The Paternoster family had always supported Glenn through his struggle with heroin and this year his sister Debbie had hoped to fly him to her home in America in an attempt to break the chain of his addiction.
But despite their efforts Glenn could not be saved from the drug.
After being released from prison on the morning of December 23 last year at the end of a five-week sentence for what his family described as “petty offences”, Glenn, a former upholsterer, met with friends to celebrate.
Scott said: “He went on to visit his mum where he spent an hour laughing and joking and showing the friends photos of himself when he was younger, saying how well he looked in the pictures.
“As he left he arranged to come and see his mum on Christmas Day for dinner and hugged her goodbye.”
Glenn and his friends went on to the Sorrel Horse in Barham where he treated them to a drink from the Christmas money he received from his mum and dad.
He drank two pints of Stella lager and several Smirnoff Ice drinks.
The group stayed at the pub for about one and a half hours until closing time and Glenn was then dropped off in Burlington Road, Ipswich, where he was staying at his friend Brian McNeil's flat.
Mr McNeil helped Glenn to a sofa in the living room and about half an hour later brought him a blanket but could not get a response from him.
Ambulance staff tried in vain to revive him and Glenn was pronounced dead at Ipswich hospital at 1.20am on Christmas Day.
Just over five hours later, on a day which should have been spent celebrating life, his mother Sylvia, of Stratford Road, Ipswich, faced the grim task of identifying her son's body.
Last month an inquest recorded a verdict of accidental death. Deputy coroner Roger Stewart heard that along with alcohol the father-of-one had prescribed medicine, antibiotics for a leg wound, methadone and other drugs in his system.
Now Glenn's family wants those trapped in a cycle of drug addiction to seek help before it is too late.
They are urging people to turn to the Ipswich-based Health Outreach Project, a body which tried to help Glenn overcome his drug addiction.
Scott said: “If one person reads this story and picks up the phone it will be worth it.”
“As a son, brother, uncle and dad none of his family would change one single thing about him accept what he took.”
Sylvia added that despite Glenn's addiction and his brushes with the law he would always remain a cherished son to her.
She said: “A son has a treasured place in the heart that nothing will ever change.”
Glenn's family have appealed to his friends to send them any photos of him so they can copy them.
Photos can be sent to Scott Paternoster at 46 Chilton Road, Ipswich, IP3 8PD. The originals will be returned once they have been copied.
They have also asked us to point out that Glenn was released from prison on December 23 and died on Christmas Day, not as reported in The Evening Star on March 17.
The Health Outreach Project numbers are 01473 275 271 and 07966069852.
N What do you remember about Glenn Paternoster? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Time to change
By Glenn Paternoster
If all my life was just a dream
I'd wake from it with such a scream
And never want to sleep again
As with that sleep would come such pain
Only I know it's not the case
So I face each day with a brave face
I hope today I find some peace
And these bad dreams will finally cease
But I know that just won't be
With these blinkers on I just can't see
I always justify what I have done
To my family and worst my son
So when I am old who will love me
I guess I will have to wait and see
But by then will it be too late
To calm the anger and the hate
I know this time I have the means
So fingers crossed life ain't what it seems
And this mess I have caused I'll rearrange
'cos now I know it's TIME TO CHANGE