‘ We’re not cop­ing’

Grand­fa­ther shares deep hurt over tragic death of young Summerside man at Evolve Fes­ti­val

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - BY JIM DAY

Clifford DesRoches had great hopes for his grand­son.

He had saved and in­vested a good deal of money to be used to pay for Dy­lan Cham­pion’s post­sec­ondary ed­u­ca­tion.

Cham­pion, 21, of Summerside was work­ing at the Red Shores Casino in Char­lot­te­town, his ed­u­ca­tion put on hold for an un­de­ter­mined pe­riod.

DesRoches was keen to see his grand­son flour­ish, per­haps one day pur­su­ing his pas­sion for mu­sic.

“He wanted to get in­volved in mu­sic,’’ he says.

“Mu­sic was his life. Mu­sic was go­ing all the time.’’

Sadly, Cham­pion’s life would be cut short as mu­sic played all around.

He was at­tend­ing his first Evolve Mu­sic Fes­ti­val in Antigo­nish, N.S., over the week­end when he had a seizure on the con­cert grounds.

He died Tues­day at the Hal­i­fax In­fir­mary.

DesRoches is ea­ger to learn the re­sults of the au­topsy per­formed on Cham­pion Thurs­day.

RCMP Sgt. Alain LeBlanc in Hal­i­fax says po­lice will not have the full re­sults for a few weeks, and adds the re­sults will not be made public.

Fam­ily, of course, will be in­formed of the out­come.

DesRoches says his grand­son had a history of epilepsy; Cham­pion had a seizure about five months ago.

He is not keen to en­ter­tain the thought that his grand­son may have had a drug over­dose, even though the young man was at­tend­ing an an­nual event no­to­ri­ous for the high drug use by con­cert-go­ers.

If the au­topsy does de­ter­mine Cham­pion died as a re­sult of a drug over­dose, DesRoches would like to see the fes­ti­val shut down.

Yet re­gard­less of how Cham­pion’s life was ended, DesRoches, other fam­ily mem­bers, and friends are left mourn­ing the loss a young man whose full po­ten­tial will never be re­al­ized.

“We’re not cop­ing good... it’s hard on us,’’ says DesRoches.

“It’s the last thing we ex­pected. I love my grand­son. I thought the world of him.’’

He de­scribes his late grand­son as be­ing a very good boy, who was kind and quiet.

Carla Bourque, spokes­woman for At­lantic Lottery Cor­po­ra­tion, says Cham­pion’s death has sad­dened many peo­ple who worked with him at Red Shores.

“Our thoughts are with his fam­ily and friends at this most dif­fi­cult time,’’ says Bourque.

“He was well liked by staff and will cer­tainly be missed.’’

ANCELENE MACKIN­NON/TC MEDIA

Nancy and Clifford Desroches hold the grad­u­a­tion photo of their grand­son, Dy­lan Cham­pion, who died at 21 af­ter at­tend­ing a mu­sic fes­ti­val in Nova Sco­tia.

SUB­MI­ITED PHOTO

Dy­lan Cham­pion, who died at a Antigo­nish con­cert re­centy, is shown in this photo.

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