FARGO — Michael "Mikey" Wold, 20 died Friday, April 9, following an accidental overdose of a drug believed to be counterfeit Xanax. Because the counterfeit Xanax is not an opioid, Narcan does not work to revive an overdose victim.
For parents Mike and Bobbi Wold, it still feels like a dream. Hundreds came to their son's funeral, on April 15, where he was celebrated as a caring, kind kid.
"He just loved meeting people and talking to people and getting to know people," said Mike Wold.
Family and friends remember Michael Wold as always smiling, and usually the tallest one on the team at any hockey arena.
"We really have some funny pictures where he towers over the kids," Mike Wold said. "We were in Bemidji, and the team was warming up, and I went to the lobby to get a pop and I heard the kids say, 'did you see them monster out there.'"
The family has received letters from friends and classmates of Michael Wold, telling stories of his joy and kindness to others.
"I saw some other letters from people who said 'I wasn't the most popular in school,' or, 'I was shy, but Michael always took time to talk to me or say hi, or give me a smile,'" Mike Wold said. "He was just full of love, and he didn't judge people. He just always had an ear to listen to people."
Michael Wold struggled with addiction, but the family had believed a recent treatment had been successful.
"We thought we were doing all the right things," Mike Wold said. "It's very hard because I knew he was going to do great things. He had a struggle with addictions, but he was getting his feet on the ground. We were so proud of him. I'd pick him up at his new job, (and) he'd just come walking out, and had that little bounce in his step and he had that twinkle in his eye. He was doing to do great things, we were just trying to get through this tough time."
But in his home, on April 9th, Michael Wold overdosed. His dad found him, and now life for the family will never be the same.
"We thought Michael was doing so well," Mike Wold said. "We picked him up that day from work, had dinner that night, everything seemed normal."
Investigators with The Fargo Police Department are looking into Michael Wold's death, and they are aware of the presence of counterfeit Xanax in the region. However, they won't confirm his overdose as being from Xanax until they get lab results back.
In the meantime, they urge parents to sit down and talk with their children about buying drugs off the street.
"It is super scary right now, I met someone this morning on a chance meeting, and he had just lost his 18-year-old daughter March 30 to (overdose)," Mike Wold said. "It's scary, kids have to realize that you can't be messing around with stuff. You don't know about it just buying it off the street."
Sympathy Cards are overflowing on the Wold's kitchen table, and stories about Michael Wold are being shared on social media are the only positives in this time of hopelessness for the family.
"If talking about it, saves another life, or saves another family from the grief that we are going through, I hope it helps," Mike Wold said.