NPR Fresh Air! – 

February 4, 2020 – “I tried to listen for a heartbeat and I couldn’t hear one … I ran out of the house because I was afraid,” Zimmerman says. When the police and EMTs arrived, they identified drugs and drug paraphernalia among Peter’s possessions. In the days and weeks that followed, Zimmerman learned that Peter had been addicted to cocaine and opioids, and that his death had been caused by infective endocarditis, an infection that is sometimes linked to intravenous drug use.

“The worst part was telling my kids [why he died] and having to see their reaction,” she says. “There was a certain level of shame and guilt that we had that this had happened in front of us and we hadn’t recognized it.”


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