Project 4-14: A wife's tragedy bringing hope to others
CHILLICOTHE, Ohio (WSYX) - She lost her husband in April of 2014. Now, Tracey Kemper-Hermann doesn't want anyone else to feel that loss. So, she's doing her part to fight the opioid crisis.
Her husband died of a drug overdose. "He died in a home in Chillicothe with six other people, " Kemper-Hermann said. "No one had naloxone."
She said it took 47 minutes before medics were called. When they arrived it was too late.
"There's no reason he should have died. Someone should have had access to the naloxone and been able to administer it, " she said.
She said her husband, Jason, was like so many other addicts, battling their demons for years. He had been in and out of rehab.
"He relapsed on a Wednesday and died on Monday," Kemper-Hermann said. "It rocked our world."
She says she wasn't prepared for the judgement or the stigma associated with the disease.
"First person at the grocery store that said I'm sorry, so how did he pass? I immediately said a drug overdose," said Kemper-Hermann.
After that the reaction is one she will never forget.
"The look on that person's face was like, oh gosh, why did I just ask that? " she said.
Instantly, the encounter became unbearable. It's a meeting like that, she hopes her new program, "Project 4-14," can prevent.
So she's handing out naloxone to keep addicts alive.
"This is basically putting a life-saving drug into the hands of people who use drugs and people who love people who use drugs, " she said.
She started her crusade just this year on April 14th - the anniversary of Jason's death.
Right now she's applying for non-profit status - but has a supply of naloxone to hand out.
She says you can reach her on Facebook or text or call 740-600-4187 if you're in need of naloxone or want to help support her program.