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Parents who lost daughter to fentanyl poisoning raising awareness

todayMay 7, 2024 7

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — More than 110,000 people lost their lives to an overdose last year according to the CDC. A majority of those deaths involved fentanyl. One of those people was a teenage girl from Vermillion.

“She would light up a room if she walked through the door,” Kelcy Orr’s dad, Jim Orr said.

15-year-old Kelcy Orr loved gymnastics, track, and spending time with her friends.

“Everybody would just start laughing and smiling. She had that contagious laugh, really outgoing, very smart, just an amazing person,” Jim said.

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But last December, Jim and Jenny Orr lost their daughter to fentanyl poisoning.

“Our daughter did not go to sleep that night not knowing that she was not going to wake up the next morning. She was killed by taking a pill that was laced with fentanyl,” Kelcy’s mom, Jenny Orr said.

While nothing can stop the pain of losing a child, the Orrs are now a part of the Emily’s Hope support group, which has been therapeutic for them. They’re helping raise awareness, in hopes of saving lives.

“I know it’s going to be here forever, but just trying to get through day by day and Emily’s Hope helps with that and with the awareness and spreading the word,” Jim said.

The Sioux Falls Police Department seized more than 6 pounds of fentanyl in 2023. That’s more than triple the amount from the previous year.

“I feel like I’m just shouting from the rooftops about this issue, trying to save lives. And this epidemic just keeps getting worse and worse. Fentanyl is now the number one killer of people ages 18 to 45,” Emily’s Hope founder Angela Kennecke said.

Emily’s Hope also launched a Post Overdose Response team to support people who survive an overdose in Minnehaha and Lincoln counties.

The Orrs said this organization has given them a voice to share Kelcy’s story.

“It’s our voice. It’s my voice, my husband’s voice. It’s Emily Hope’s voice. It’s our friends and families’ voice that have to keep Kelcy moving forward,” Jenny said.

The Yankton DCI is conducting an investigation into Kelcy’s death.

Written by: Badlands Classic Rock

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