Calgary woman Sherri Kent is still grieving after losing her son Michael to what may have been a Fentanyl overdose. But with a photo of her lying next to her dying son on a hospital bed having recently gone viral, she hopes the photo and its accompanying message will raise awareness of the dangers of opioid abuse.
According to a report from CBC, Michael Kent was a 22-year-old man who was living with his sister in Kelowna, British Columbia at the time of his suspected Fentanyl overdose. One day before the incident, Michael and his sister had bumped into a man whom they had first met “a few weeks earlier.” The man then offered Michael some drugs, and despite his sister’s pleas, he decided to meet up with the new, unnamed acquaintance the next day.
“They went to the store just down the street from where my son was living and this gentleman had told my son he had some really strong heroin,” Sherri Kent told CBC.
22 year old Michael Kent died from overdose. "He was friendly to a fault."
— Hakique Virani (@hakique) April 24, 2017
The two men went to a store in the area, and took the drugs in the store’s bathroom. Michael would then overdose and go into cardiac arrest while being taken to the hospital. Shortly after, he was taken off life support. Michael Kent died on March 21, one week after supposedly taking the Fentanyl and overdosing.
On April 20, almost a month after the death of her son, Sherri Kent took to Facebook to post a photo of her lying next to her son, shortly before he died in hospital. According to Sherri’s post, which was shared in full by the Daily Mail, her son Michael was not regularly abusing drugs at the time of his overdose, but merely made the wrong decision of being led astray by someone he had just met.
“I just want everyone to know that my son Michael overdosed on Fentanyl. My son was not an addict he made a mistake that cost him his life.”
After stressing that the fentanyl epidemic kills five to seven people a day in Canada, Sherri Kent went on to warn people about the dangers of drug abuse, opioid abuse in particular.
“I’ve lost my son to this horrible tragedy and want to make parents aware that it can happen to anyone who decides to touch anything that can be snorted up your nose. Fentanol [sic] is the number #1 killer in Canada and it’s taking our children and loved ones. Please share this with your family and friends to help prevent another tragedy.”
— Brenda (@brendamaiy) April 25, 2017
Fentanyl had arguably become a household name last year, when it was determined that music legend Prince had accidentally overdosed on the drug, leading to his death at the age of 57. According to WebMD, fentanyl is legally recommended as a form of cancer treatment for those whose pains related to the disease return even if they’re on other opioids. The drug, however, has been a prevalent street drug in recent years, capable of delivering a “near-instantaneous high.” This has made it popular among opioid abusers, yet has also resulted in a growing number of fentanyl overdoses around the world, including the U.S.
In the aftermath of her son’s death, Sherri Kent has decided to help others by making Michael an organ donor. Toxicology reports are still pending, but Sherri told CBC that she was informed by doctors that Michael likely died of a fentanyl overdose, due to the high number of similar cases on record. And while her viral Facebook post has been shared close to 90,000 times as of this week, Sherri also told CBC about one useful tool that could help curb opioid abuse-related deaths – a naloxone kit.
“I recommend anybody who has friends or anybody that does do drugs to get one of these. They give you the time you need to get medical help.”
[Featured Image by Designer491/Shutterstock]