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Boy saves lives after dying of heart attack

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Posted at 5:05 PM, Jul 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-07 17:05:55-04

Friends and family got together to celebrate the life of 23-year-old Colton Lasker, who passed away from a heart attack a week ago on his birthday.

Colton fought a 10-year heroin addiction battle and was able to recover before passing away. However, due to the effects the drugs had already done, it was harder to save him from the heart attack.

The community remembers him and his great energy.

"Colton was amazing," said Colton's mother, Becky Barnell. "Loving, smart, a poet, writer, reader, music buff. Kind, loving, supportive, everything you could ever want."

"His smile lit up a room and not only for me, but for millions of people," said Colton's best friend, Robin J. Reed.

"Caring, funny, he was completely full of life," added Shaun Cooper, another close friend of Colton's.

A lot of caring faces attended Colton's wake and celebration of life, dressed in tie-dye shirts to represent the colors that helped him during his 10-year battle with opioid addiction. His mother said he started this because he felt like an outsider.

"He didn't feel like he fit in," said Colton's mother. "He didn't feel like he belonged anywhere so he tried it."

He started trying heroin at the age of 13, and was able to overcome it.

"He passed away clean," said Reed. "I mean, that's what he wanted. He finally got a new, fresh start."

His proud mother knows he is in a better place now.

"I can't explain the peace that God has given us and the relief that my son feels now having been taken that way, and not having it been from an overdose or suicide, which is where it was going," added Barnell.

Even after passing away, Colton made people smile, and saved four lives.

"His heart was donated to a man in the New York City area," said Barnell. "Both of his kidneys -- his liver and pancreas all went to three other people."

More than 200 people in Erie County died from opioids last year alone. Colton's mother has a powerful message about the reality of addiction.

"Addiction is dangerous and its mental," said Barnell. "It's so horribly mental. I wish that people would understand it better instead of blaming the people that are addicts. Look for the cause, because we are not going to get control of this ever."

If you know someone who is battling opioid addiction, Colton's mother recommends reaching out to Renaissance House, a drug addiction treatment center on Harlem Street. Their phone number is 716-821-0391. Colton was able to receive help there.

Editor's Note: This story was updated to reflect Colton Lasker died from complications due to past heroin use. Lasker overcame his addiction and was clean when he passed away suddenly from a heart attack.