Reporting on the tragic death of someone, it goes without saying, must be a difficult job. One can only imagine the pain if that someone is your own child.
This nightmare became a reality for one reporter from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, who made the brave decision to discuss her daughter’s drug overdose on live television.
Emily Groth, daughter to Angela Kennecke, died at the tender age of 21 from a Fentanyl poisoning in May.
It came as a huge shock to her family, who had only just become aware of her opioid use.
As an anchor for KELO-TV, Angela had been covering the opioid epidemic for several years prior to Emily’s passing.
She thought it fitting, then, to open up about the harsh topic and break down the stigmas and problems inherent to the crisis.
Speaking during an evening news bulletin, she said:
The opioid epidemic has hit home in a tragic and devastating way for me personally.
The loss of a child, especially in a sudden and shocking way, has turned my world upside down. I never intended a member of my family to become part of the statistics you hear on the evening news. Nobody does.
We must come up with better, more affordable ways to treat addiction, we also need to abolish the stigma that prevents many from seeking help, including my daughter.
If 72,000 people were dying a year from any other cause we would be uniting to end the suffering of so many families, so many mothers.
In in follow up article for CBS News, she went into greater detail about the harrowing death, revealing the exact moment she was told the news.
I got a frantic call from her dad, saying, ‘I think Emily’s OD’d. You need to get over here right now.’ I can’t even describe to you what it’s like to hear those words.
I knew my daughter had a problem. On that day we were planning an intervention. I just didn’t know what it was she was using. And I think we just need so much more awareness. We need so much more instead of judgment, compassion. And I’m trying to do what I can to make changes in my own community back home to get people the help that they need. And that’s all really I can do with this.
Hideous thing to go through, but it’s hard not to be proud of Angela for speaking out on the topic before it affects any other families.
If you want friendly, confidential advice about drugs you can talk to FRANK. You can call 0300 123 6600, text 82111 or email via http://www.talktofrank.com/contact 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Or Live Chat at http://www.talktofrank.com/livechat from 2pm-6pm any day of the week.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
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