How a Family Turned the Tragic Death of Their Son Into an Online Legacy

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On July 3, 2020, Bradi Nathan received the call no parent wants to receive: his son, Jack, died at the age of nineteen. The evening before, Jack had been at a friend’s birthday party and swallowed what he thought was a Percocet. The pill was laced with Fentanyl and he didn’t wake up.

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Brady Nathan

Before Jack’s death, he created a company called Happy Jack, an online lifestyle and community designed for those struggling with mental illness. Jack had moments of depression and painting became his therapy. Happy Jack featured the founder’s designs in clothing, with a portion of the proceeds going to mental health foundations. From the first week of sales, Jack donated $1,000 to the Child Mind Institute.

Brady decided to continue what Jack started to honor his legacy and continue his mission.

“He wanted to change the world,” Jack’s mother recalled. “He wanted to make this world a better place by speaking out and letting other kids know they’re not alone.”

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The father’s symptoms are a mother’s treatment

Bradi continues to use Jack’s designs in new product packaging and has donated $60,000 to mental health foundations such as Active Minds, Born This Way, Release Recovery and the American Cancer Society. The path to donation is not an easy one: research, production, distribution, site management, customer service and fulfillment are all responsibilities that Bradi has stepped into. loss of his son.

“It’s funny when someone tells me they contacted customer service,” Bradi said, “because I I’m serving customers.”

Happy Jack is a family run business welcoming advice and consulting from experts as they develop the brand. Bradi and Jack’s father David eventually want to take the COO level, get funding and build a viable enterprise. This will give them the opportunity to focus on sharing Jack’s story more personally.

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Healing while helping

With the additional help of Jack’s sister, Drew, the project has partnered with business owners across the country to create fundraising opportunities. Brand ambassadors on college campuses have joined to help promote mental health. Happy Jack has also run pop-up stores in spaces like WeWork and the Seaport District. These events allow the family to meet and share stories with many who are also struggling.

“There was never a question of whether or not I was going to continue with Happy Jack,” added Bradi. “It seemed like an obvious thing to do.”

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