In February of 2019, Jacob Brunson lost his battle with addiction.
“Losing Jacob, there are no way to put into words how it feels being a mother that has lost her, her child,” said Susan Brunson, mother of Jacob.
An injury to his elbow while pitching would not only end his baseball career, his one true love, but also end all sources of normalcy for Brunson as his addiction began.
After battling for over a decade, Brunson died after taking what he thought was an opioid; it was straight fentanyl.
Jacob is one of four siblings and before his death had been in and out of rehab to help his addiction.
Because of his frequency of using, Brunson was hospitalized for problems with his heart. His mother, Susan, recalled that she was hopeful this would, “wake him up and scare him,” but unfortunately, he was not able to shake this disease.
“There’s nothing I could’ve done. The disease is bigger than me, bigger than him,” said Susan.
In South Carolina alone, there have been over 2,000 opioid accidental overdoses. 1,500 of these were due to fentanyl.
Lexington County Public Information Officer Adam Myrick has seen an upward trend in fentanyl related deaths.
“It’s extremely inexpensive for drug dealers to get their hands on. Because it’s inexpensive, they’re mixing it in with more expensive drugs out there,” said Myrick.
To help lower fentanyl numbers, Senator Brian Adams (R) sponsored a bill allowing officers to arrest drug dealers in possession of fentanyl.
“We enacted last year to help out law enforcement, and also to show those if you’re willing to traffic fentanyl, we’re going to be willing to put you in prison for it,” said Adams.
Adams is an advocate for the bill because,
“Fentanyl, I can put a grain of it on a needle or pen and that’s enough for you to overdose,” said Adams. “That’s how powerful it is.”
Susan Brunson says she is an advocate for stronger legislation because she would like to avoid this happening to another family.
“That’s not going to bring my Jacob back.”
She is instead hopeful that Jacob’s story can inspire others and help those in a similar situation.
“So, I choose to turn it into a positive how I can get Jacob’s story out there,” said Brunson. “How I can bring awareness to addiction. How I can make a difference with another family that may not only save a child but keep another family from going through what we went through.”
The last tangible remnant Susan has from her son is a card he made while in rehab. It is a drawing of a cross with flowers and hearts.
The unique part of this card, is that he colored it in using M&Ms.