A news anchor has reported on her daughter's deadly drug overdose in a desperate plea to end the opiate crisis.
South Dakota journalist Angela Kennecke, 52, aired on CBS affiliate KELO-TV, where she has worked for 29 years, on Wednesday to share details about the death of her daughter Emily in May.
Looking solemnly at the camera, he began his transmission: "We have brought you many reports on the opioid crisis, but now, the opiate epidemic has come home in a tragic and devastating way for me personally.
"On May 16, my daughter Emily, age 21, died of an overdose, her official cause of death was fentanyl poisoning.
Kennecke, who has two other children and a stepson, continued: "The loss of a child, especially in this sudden and shocking way, has turned my world upside down.
"I never intended for a member of my family to become part of the statistics you hear on the evening news … Nobody does it … There is no recovery for me or my family from the loss of our talented, intelligent and beautiful daughter Emily.
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Angela Kennecke returned to work after four months off on Wednesday to report the death of her daughter Emily, 21, who died of an overdose of fentanyl in May.
Emily was an artist who did not live with her family when she died. His mother said that every time he saw her, the "alarms" sounded in his head, but he had no idea how severe his addiction was.
"Instead, I'm forced to move on and my only option now is how I do it."
"My choice, even at great personal risk, is to share my daughter's story with all of you."
Emily, who was an artist, was found dead of an overdose of fentanyl on May 18. His mother had planned an intervention for three days later.
Speaking Wednesday, Kennecke said he never suspected that his daughter was abusing opioids, but said he had realized he was experimenting with drugs.
"It was soon evident that the whole drug culture was attractive to her, I was really worried as a mother.
"We saw Em quite a lot, he did not live with us, he was 21 years old, but the more time he spent with her before his death, the more alarm bell rang in my head," he said.
"I never intended for a member of my family to become part of the statistics you hear on the evening news.
The family hired an intervention specialist and had agreed to take Emily to rehabilitation on May 20, but she died before they could seek professional help for her.
& # 39; We did not have that opportunity. We did not have the opportunity to take her to a real treatment. Real help, "he said.
Kennecke was shocked when he discovered the depths of his daughter's addiction, which also involved the use of heroin.
& # 39; When I discovered what she had been doing, the cause. It was amazing to me The fact that my daughter would be using heroin and needles.
"My beautiful daughter, who was very privileged, had all the opportunities in life to have an excellent life, had gone through this path, it was shocking to me," she said.
When they found her, the 21-year-old girl had taken six times the amount of fentanyl that was prescribed to an adult male. She is shown, on the left, around the time she graduated from high school in 2015, and on the right, most recently
Kennecke said it was obvious from the beginning that his daughter found "attractive" drugs. She did not live with her family when she started experimenting with drugs
The pathologist said that Emily had more than six times the recommended medical amount of fentanyl that would be required for an adult man.
& # 39; She was just a little young woman. She had no chance. That fentanyl killed her almost instantly when she injected it, "her mother said.
Kennecke said he had decided to talk about his experience because it could happen to any family.
"My beautiful daughter, who was very privileged, had every opportunity in life to have a wonderful life that had traveled this path.
"It's better if I just tell my story and let everyone know what happened to my daughter because I think it can happen to anyone's daughter," he said.
Your goal is to destigmatize the addiction so that it is easier for families to deal with it and find better and more affordable ways & # 39; so that young people seek treatment if they feel trapped.
"The reason I do this is because my only hope in the face of such a devastating loss is that Emily's story, the personal tragedy of my family, can be a catalyst for change.
"If 72,000 people die each year from any other cause, we would unite to end the suffering of so many families, so many mothers," he said.
Kennecke has launched a fund in his daughter's name to help people pay for the cost of treatment. Her name is Emily's Hope and can be accessed through this link.
Emily is photographed with her brother, sister and stepbrother in April, a month before she died
Kennecke, pictured with her husband and children, now wants to destigmatize addiction
"I want his life and his tragic death at least give hope to someone else."
"In telling the story of Emiy and my story of loss, pain and suffering, I am opening up: I am vulnerable to our audience in a way that I have never been before."
"It is very important that I do it because if only one person listens to me, if only one person does one thing to save a life, then I do not care about a million negative people or a million people who do not understand.
Emily's mother set up a fund to support other youth seeking treatment for addiction
"I'm worried about that only mother that I can stop experiencing the pain I have," she said.
She added: "She got involved in risky behavior, but she did not deserve to die." She was only 21 years old.
The journalist said there was no way she could describe the loss she and her family suffered with Emily's death and that the "permanence" of it was devastating.
& # 39; Your chair is empty on the kitchen table. That's when it really hurts when I look to the other side and she is not there and will never come back.
& # 39; It is the permanence of that. They stole my daughter. I was just robbed.
"I consider myself a creator of words, I write to live every day, but there are no words to describe the devastation I feel for the loss of my daughter.
"There is nothing that can come close to describe pain and sadness and pain."
And all the loss of what could have been and what would happen if. As a mother, I have a hole in my heat that will always be there. It will never heal.
"I have other children whom I love and a husband whom I love and another family that I love, but nobody or anything can replace the loss of my eldest son.
Before returning to work on Wednesday, the mother took Facebook to describe the decision as the "most difficult thing" she had done in her career.