DAVID CITY (SNR/AHS) - “You didn’t get a speaker, you got a dad,” Ken Real announced as he began speaking to students at Aquinas Middle and High School in David City Oct. 18.
The Aquinas Stop and Think Group and the Butler County Believes in Youth Coalition (BBYC) sponsored Ken Real to present “The Real Deal on Alcohol Poisoning. Know the Signs, Save a Life.”
Real pointed out one of the scripture verses on the walls of the Aquinas gymnasium, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
“I love Philippians 4:13,” Real said. “You don’t get through something like this without faith.”
In August 2014, Ken Real dropped his only son off at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to pursue a college degree. Clayton planned to come back home after college to become a fifth-generation farmer.
Just 10 days later, Ken Real received a call informing him that 18-year-old Clay was dead.
An investigation revealed that Clay died of alcohol poisoning. Arrests were made in relation to Clay’s death, and the four people who bought the alcohol consumed that night were charged. Two years later, the Real family are finally finished with the legal proceedings. These were “good kids who made some dumb decisions,” Ken told the Aquinas students. He said he met each one, shook their hands, and forgave them.
However, he explained, it would have taken only one person to recognize the signs of alcohol poisoning and call 911 to save his son’s life. He shared the anagram provided by the non-profit organization “Aware Awake Alive” to help people recognize the signs of alcohol poisoning: MUST HELP. M: mental confusion, U: unresponsive, S: snoring/gasping, T: throw up, H: hypothermia, E: erratic breathing, L: loss of consciousness, and P: paleness of skin.
“If you suspect that someone has alcohol poisoning,” the organization teaches, “even if you don’t see the classic signs and symptoms, seek immediate medical care.
“Do the right thing,” Real emphasized. “Make the call.”