Bullitt Co. deputy, family share daughter’s fentanyl death to raise awareness
BULLITT COUNTY, Ky. (WAVE) - In early February, 23-year-old Morgan Lewis died of an overdose. She had taken cocaine, and the drug was laced with an even more powerful narcotic–fentanyl.
“I was totally shocked,” Morgan’s mother, Laura Thurman said.
For Morgan’s brother, Dylan Lewis, “Everything went numb.”
“It never crossed my mind that we would lose her,” sister-in-law Chasity Lewis said.
Her stepfather said, “We had no idea she ever took a drug in her life.”
Morgan died, as more than 150 Americans do every day, from the synthetic opioid fentanyl. It’s a drug more and more commonly laced into other street drugs.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that illicit drug manufacturers often cut fentanyl into other products because it is cheaper, more addicting, and stronger.
It is also far more deadly, even with just one dose.
“She didn’t mean to do this,” Laura said.
She and Morgan’s surviving family said they saw no signs of addiction in Morgan, and they believe she did not know the cocaine was laced with fentanyl.
“She was always happy,” Dylan said. “Always had a smile on her face.”
Morgan’s cousin and longtime close friend, LeeAnn, died of an overdose in February 2021–also from fentanyl, this time laced into a painkiller.
“She was depressed about the anniversary of her cousin’s death coming up,” Laura said. “And I believe she just decided to do cocaine thinking it was safe and it would get her somewhat high, and she could just forget a little bit about her cousin.”
But what her mom would say to her in that moment, if she could, is “that no high is worth the pain we’re going through.”
It’s a pain they don’t want other families to go through, either. That’s why they are choosing to tell Morgan’s story and speak up for overdose awareness.
Chasity has agreed to participate in the Mrs. Kentucky pageant, something she would never have agreed to before.
“I have never done pageants in my life,” Chasity said.
However, Morgan had participated in pageants throughout her life. Chasity discovered the pageant benefited Victoria’s Voice Foundation, an overdose prevention nonprofit.
“That told me right there that it was a sign from Morgan to do the pageant and tell her story,” Chasity said.
Morgan’s stepfather, George Thurman, is a Bullitt County Sheriff’s deputy and a school resource officer. He recently spoke to a group of nearly 200 eighth graders, sharing Morgan’s story as a cautionary tale.
“Good families, when they lose children, they often– and I’ve seen it myself–they lie, and they make up stories because they don’t want to face it,” Thurman said. “We don’t want to do that. We want to raise awareness. [We want to] use Morgan’s name, her voice, her spirit, and try to help others.”
Chasity Lewis is hosting a benefit for Victoria’s Voice on Monday, May 23, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. at the Cluckers restaurant in Shepherdsville.
Ten percent of the sales will benefit the organization that champions ways to reduce drug experimentation, addiction, and overdose.
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