Story by: Maggie Roetker on June 27, 2018
Jared Traxler almost became a statistic. At age 10, he attempted suicide. Fortunately, he was found, saved and given a second chance.
It all started when he was 9.
“I went into my Papaw’s room to ask to borrow a fishing pole,” Jared said. “I walked to his bed to wake him up, only to find him passed on.”
“Jared had always been a happy kid, full of life and love,” said his mother, Amber. “After his Papaw passed away, he grew more angry, short-tempered and got aggravated quickly. But I thought it was nothing unusual. I thought he was just going through a stage like all preteens go through, normal for most boys his age. He said everything was fine.”
“I never talked to anybody about how I was feeling, just that I missed him, but not how I felt deep inside. The depression,” Jared said. “A year later, just a few days past the one-year anniversary, I made a permanent decision off a temporary emotion. I attempted suicide.”
Jared and his family were visiting his grandmother on that fateful day.
After Jared had been in the guest room for a while, his grandmother went to see what he was up to and found the door locked. When it was opened, they found Jared had attempted to hang himself. He was not breathing and had no pulse. His grandma and aunt got him down and began trying to resuscitate him. They were able to get him breathing again, though he was struggling.
“He was hooked to so many machines and connected to life support,” Amber said. “I just wanted to hold my baby tight and I felt like I failed him. As a mother, I should have seen these warning signs; I should have known, but I didn’t!”
Adult crisis services: (502) 589-4313 or (800) 221-0446
Children and youth crisis services: (502) 589-8070 or (800) 432-4510
(800) SUICIDE (784-2433) or
(800) 273-TALK (273-8255)
TTY: (800) 799-4TTY (799-4889)
Military veterans suicide hotline: (800) 273-TALK (273-8255) (press 1)
Suicide hotline in Spanish: (800) 273-TALK (273-8255) (press 2)
LGBT youth suicide hotline: (866) 4-U-TREVOR (488-7386)
Jared was placed in an induced coma to allow his body to heal. Everyone braced for the worst, since no one knew how long he had been without oxygen and if he’d ever wake up.
“I just stared at my precious freckled-faced boy while stroking his hair,” Amber said. “I told him if he could hear me to know that I’m here with him and I’m not leaving his side. I loved him so much and needed him to pull through.”
And he did.
“I can’t explain the feelings that overcame me when he woke up,” Amber said. “God heard my cries and all the prayers from myself and the prayer warriors. This was no doubt a divine intervention.
“God not only blessed me with my son once, but twice. I’m very thankful my baby boy pulled through this because without him I would be lost.”
“The doctors said that medically, I should not be here,” Jared said. “They cannot explain it. No one survives what I survived. No one lives to talk about it.
“I thank God every day for finding me worthy enough to bring me back, and that I don’t get to decide when it’s my time to go.”
For others, Jared has a message:
“I’m here to let you know, you are worthy! No matter how big or small your burden is, talk to someone. Don’t let depression win. There are and will be better days. Find something you like doing when you feel sad — I go fishing — then think about all the good and how blessed I truly am.”