In December of 2016, Valerie Fairman, one of the star’s of MTV’s 16 and Pregnant, passed away.
She was only 23 years old.
Her death was shocking for a number of reasons, one, of course, being her age.
Another was that she had an episode in the second season of 16 and Pregnant, the same season that introduced us to Jenelle Evans, Chelsea Houska, Kailyn Lowry, and Leah Messer.
Being in a group of ladies we’ve come to know so well, it was just sort of strange to hear about her passing.
One big reason the whole thing was so tragic was that Valerie left behind a daughter, Nevaeh, who was seven years old when she lost her mother.
Really, the whole entire thing was just one big mess of sadness.
The news of her death broke thanks to some tweets from her friends and family, and later we learned that she’d accidentally overdosed at a friend’s house.
She went to the bathroom there but didn’t come out. Her friend went to check on her, and when there was no response, the friend broke down the door to find Valerie unresponsive.
She never regained consciousness.
There were never any official reports about her specific cause of death, but many believe that she died after doing heroin laced with fentanyl.
This belief began in part because her ex-boyfriend, David Pryce, made a plea on Twitter after hearing the news of her death about shady drug dealers.
“I will always miss you Valerie,” he wrote, “and I want to tell anyone who is selling sh-t to people to stop. We have lost too many loved ones to what you are doing.”
In another statement, he said that she’d been dealing with “a lifelong problem” with opioid addiction, which is especially tragic, considering her life was so short.
Valerie passed away at the end of 2016, and that’s when we heard all of this — so how are things with little Nevaeh now, over a year later?
Her grandmother, Janice Fairman — Valerie’s mother — gave an interview to Radar Online to update 16 and Pregnant fans on how the girl is doing.
“Nevaeh is very well,” she says. “I don’t think it’s been hard for her. I don’t know if it will be in the coming years.”
“She’s doing well in school. I took her to a grief counselor, which she didn’t need.”
That may sound a little cold, but Janice points out that she had full custody of Nevaeh even before Valerie died, and that Valerie only visited once or twice a month.
She explains that “Because her mom wasn’t living here at the time, it made it easier on her. She’s still in the house she’s grown up in.”
She does say that she makes a point to tell Nevaeh about her mother often, and that “she has a necklace with some of her ashes.”
“Ashes are in her play room too. She also has flowers from the service.”
Thankfully, Janice reveals that Nevaeh’s father, Matt Pryce, “sees her every Saturday.”
“We try to keep Matt involved,” she says, even though “he has his own problems,” and she “doesn’t always” want to visit with him.”
Still, they “try and rearrange things so he doesn’t miss out on birthday parties and other activities.”
Finally, Janice asks that 16 and Pregnant fans remember Valerie as a “loving and caring person.”
“I know she was into drugs and wasn’t so nice,” she acknowledges, “but in her heart she really was.”
Here’s hoping that Nevaeh really is doing as well as Janice says, and that she continues to cope with this tragic loss as easily as possible.