BRADENTON, Fla. (WFLA) – There are two Tampa Bay area moms who have something powerful in common, a bond that connects them even though they’ve never met.
Cindy Grant and Gerrie Stanhope have lost their youngest sons to opiate addiction.
“It’s the worst feeling you could ever know. It was part of me, he was an extension of me,” said Cindy Grant as she sat with News Channel 8 in Bradenton and shared the story of her 19-year-old son, Dan.
“I wish I could tell him one more time that I love him and that I wish I had a do-over,” Grant added.
Stanhope knows the feeling well. She remembers the exact moment in December 2014 when she found her son Brian dead from an overdose in the bathroom of their Manatee County home.
“This epidemic is horrible, it’s horrible. I could talk about it for hours, the heart ache. I knocked on the door and he didn’t answer, I pounded on the door and he didn’t answer. He was already gone.”
According to the latest numbers from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Manatee County leads the state in overdose deaths per capita when it comes to opioids, including heroin and Fentanyl. More than 200 people died in 2015 from overdoses.
These two moms share two broken hearts and feel as though they were too late to save their children.
“As long as there is demand, there is going to be a supply. I have spent so much of my past thinking about what if’s, what if I had gotten there sooner, what if I had stopped it,” Stanhope said.
The Manatee mom now spends her time working with parents every day in the support group, No Longer Silent. She is thrilled that Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is now part of a new national drug commission to combat the opioid epidemic all over the country.
“I think she’ll be a real asset, I really do,” she said.
But, this grieving mom is also warning leaders. She is begging them to take this seriously and to act quickly.
“Everybody talks, there are meetings here, meetings there. Nothing gets changed,” she said.
When we asked her the question, maybe now?
With sadness in her eyes, she managed to smile and said, “I hope so, I hope so.”WHAT OTHERS ARE CLICKING ON-
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