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Aunt on mission to prevent deaths from fentanyl, shares nephew’s story

Jenny Ecord shared her nephew’s story with students at Maize High School. Ecord is on a mission to prevent another high school student from dying of fentanyl.
Published: May. 19, 2022 at 8:10 PM CDT
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MAIZE, Kan. (KWCH) - Pills laced with potentially fatal amounts of fentanyl are in our communities and families are opening up, sharing their stories of personal tragedy in hopes of educating teens and young adults about the dangerous drug and preventing further deaths from it.

Earlier this week, Eyewitness News shared the story of Cooper Davis, a 16-year-old from Shawnee, Kansas who died last year of fentanyl poisoning.

Thursday, his aunt, Jenny Ecord shared her nephew’s story with students at Maize High School. Ecord is on a mission to prevent another high school student from dying of fentanyl.

“If we can keep one kid from making a bad decision, that would be fantastic,” she said.

She said Davis was “really, really special” to his family and remains so, but she’s grateful for the opportunity to tell his story in hopes of helping others while honoring him.

Leaders at Maize High School invited Ecord to speak.

“I want to tell you about my nephew, Cooper. On August 29, 2021, Cooper was deceived to death,” she told the students.

Ecord told the students her nephew took half of a pill of what he thought was a Percocet.

“A few months later, when his toxicology came back, we were told he had caffeine, fentanyl and Narcan, just a bunch of junk and enough fentanyl to kill him,” she said.

The school asked Ecord to share the real dangers of fake pills and fentanyl.

“I think it’s important for all of us to have this on our radar and just know how very dangerous this can be, how very real this is for us,” said USD 266 Maize Schools Communications Director Lori O’Toole Buselt.

Maize High School Behavioral Health Liaison Chris McKinney said Ecord’s presentation was impactful.

“I think Jenny just did an amazing job of relaying that message. I don’t think she could’ve done a better job of really telling the students and being up front with the information, giving it to them straight. I think (it) is exactly what is needed.”

More than 500 students attended the optional assembly.

“I’m blown away still. Speechless. It was fantastic,” Ecord said of the response.

She now hopes students will share her nephew’s story with others to save more lives.

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