My name is Patricia and I’m 17 years old. I’m very weak right now so I’ve asked my friend, Nurse Dani, to help me write this letter. I want to address all the young people of Brazil before it’s too late:
“I used to be a vivacious teen, raised in an excellent upper-middle class family in Florianopolis, Brazil. My father works as an electrical engineer in the largest power company in our state and always provided the best for my two brothers and me, including the freedom I never learned to appreciate.
At age 13, I participated in a modelling contest for a well-known agency and won. I went far in the competition and in the end a couple of girls were chosen to be game show assistants. I was also chosen to be booked for another modelling agency in Sao Paulo.
My beauty made me stand out. Heads turned wherever I went.
I attended the best college in Florianopolis and all the guys at school were at my feet.
On weekends, I went to the mall, the beach and the movies; I hung out with my friends and did all the things life has to offer beautiful people.
But life threw me a curve ball and my luck began changing in October 2004. I went with a group of friends to Oktoberfest in Blumenau (Santa Catarina, Brazil).
My parents trusted me and let me go without much concern. Everything seemed so fabulous in Blumenau. To get things started off that night we had some drinks at Bude a famous bar on 25th St.
Later that night, we went to ‘Proeb’ where the band ‘Cavalinho Branco’ was putting on an awesome show in the Galician Pavilion.
The crowd was rocking out with excitement.
I had already experimented with a few drinks. Without my mother knowing, I used to drink some Amarula liquor, but never enough to get drunk.
I got drunk on beer for the first time on Thursday, the first day of Oktoberfest.
I was smashed the whole night; what a cool sensation! I kissed like 10 guys. My friends mixed soda and beer in a baby bottle to fool the cops because we were minors and couldn’t legally drink. But we drank all night long and those idiots didn’t even notice.
At about 4’o clock in the morning, I was taken to the Emergency Room by some fire fighters because I was going into an alcoholic coma.
They immediately treated me with glucose injections. I almost threw up my guts when I got back to the apartment, but I must admit that I definitely took advantage of my freedom.
The next day, my body was sore and I had a horrible headache; it felt like premenstrual cramps.
On Saturday, we met a group of boys from Sao Paulo that happened to be renting an apartment in the same building as us. Never in my wildest dreams, did I imagine I’d meet my killer that day.
I drank a little on Saturday. The party wasn’t that good, so at about 5:30 in the morning, we decided to go back to the boys’ apartment and just relax for the rest of the morning. A little bit of everything went on that night and I was finally got to try out a joint.
At first I said, “No” but everyone started calling me a wimp. They made so much fun of us, we ended up trying it. It gave me a weird sensation, like a gloomy feeling, but I smoked some more the next day before leaving their apartment.
Marcus, one of the older guys in the group, formed some lines with a white powder, which I later found out was cocaine, and snorted it. They offered me some but I didn’t have the courage to try it that day.
When we got back home to Florianopolis, I noticed a change in myself. I felt the need to try new things and it wasn’t long before I met back up with my murderer: DRUGS again.
Gradually, those I considered to be close friends wouldn’t come around anymore because I was hanging out with a bad crowd, and without noticing, I became an addict. Drugs became part of my daily life.
I went on hallucinating “trips”, smoked weed laced with horse manure and tried cocaine laced with a whole bunch of junk.
We found out that if we mixed blood in with the cocaine, it had a stronger effect. Soon, we not only shared a syringe, but we also shared blood to dilute the powder.
At first, my allowance pretty much covered the costs because we would split the drugs among ourselves and we could afford it. I started buying coke for about $6.00 a gram, but it wasn’t long before I could only find the good stuff for about $12.00 and by now I was using at least five times a day.
I would go out with my “new friends” on Fridays and only come back home on Sundays. Sometimes we bought ecstasy and danced the whole night at the hottest spots… what a blast!
My behaviour at home also changed. My parents quickly took notice, although I tried to hide it at first and told them to mind their own business.
I would steal small things from around the house to sell or trade for drugs. Little by little, the money I was coming up with wasn’t enough so I started sleeping with these old guys in exchange for money. They paid well.
The thought of selling my body made me sick but I had to do it to get the money. With time, my family was being torn apart.
I was admitted into drug rehab treatment centres several times. With much love, my parents spent a fortune trying to reverse the situation.
I would be fine for a couple days after leaving the centre, but eventually ended up sticking myself with needles again. I abandoned everything: school, good friends and family.
In December 2007, I was given my death sentence. I found out that I had contracted the AIDS virus. I don’t know if it was from shooting up drugs or from the unprotected sex.
I must have passed on the virus to a lot of people because men paid more for sex without a condom.
Gradually, my values were faded: family, friends, parents, religion, God—even God—nothing seemed to have a point, it was ridiculous.
I’ll never stop loving my mother and father because they tried everything to save me. They gave me the most precious gift: life and I threw it down the drain.
I was admitted into the hospital, weighing a mere 53 lbs.; horrible. I don’t want any visitors because I don’t want anyone to see me like this. I don’t know how long I’ll live, but I’m asking all young people, with all of my heart, don’t go on this crazy trip.
You certainly will end up regretting it just like I’m regretting it now. Although, now I realise it’s too late for me.”
NOTE: Patricia was admitted to University Hospital in Florianopolis. Danelise, the nurse who took care of her, announced that Patricia died from respiratory failure as a result of AIDS 14 hours after they wrote this letter.