Sioux Falls, South Dakota television news reporter Angela Kennecke is sharing her story of the tragic loss of her daughter to a drug overdose to remind others that the opioid epidemic can affect anyone.
Kennecke’s daughter’s struggle with opioid addiction wasn’t a surprise. On May 16, Kennecke was drafting letters to her daughter Emily for a drug intervention. Kennecke had noticed that her beautiful, blond-haired daughter had become enamored by the drug culture and hanging out with questionable friends. Her appearance changed, and she stopped showing up at family gatherings. When Kennecke found out that one of Emily’s friends had overdosed, she realized something needed to be done.
Earlier that day, she had been working on a story about the good Samaritan laws regarding drug overdose. The law encourages people to call 911 in the event of an overdose. As part of her research, Kennecke interviewed three mothers who lost a child to a drug overdose. Little did she know that hours later, she would get the same heartbreaking news as the women she interviewed.
Her daughter Emily overdosed on the powerful opioid fentanyl. She was just 21. “My world dropped out from under me,” she told USA Today. “I don’t know how I coped.”
When an anonymous viewer reached out to Kennecke and said their family had also been affected by the opioid crisis, Kennecke decided to go on air and share her story with viewers to help people realize that opioids can affect people from all walks of life. She also started Emily’s Hope, a fund to connect addicts to the resources they need to find treatment.
“I’m just one little drop in the bucket,” she said. “But if I can just rise to the top of that bucket and my voice is just a little bit louder, maybe something will help the next family from having to experience the kind of pain I can’t seem put into words.”
Source: USA Today