Sept. 3, 2022 – Desperate for relief, Lewis bought two.

But the pills Lewis had purchased were illicit fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid. They had been pressed into pill form and sold on the street to look identical to the safer pharmaceutical opioids. Hours later, his girlfriend found him unconscious on the bathroom floor. Two days later, he was pronounced dead at Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia. Mrs. Hornsby said she had known very little about fentanyl before her son died. The loss transformed her into a vocal advocate for overdose prevention and education. Hornsby, who lives in Georgia, is now encouraging her own local police department to carry the overdose-reversing drug naloxone. She is also creating a virtual memorial to her son and others lost to fentanyl.

Lewis, a father of two and stepfather to another two children, was outgoing. Four hundred people went to his funeral, his mother said.


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