The mother received a call in the middle of the night and found out that her daughter was in the hospital after taking what she thought was an ordinary Percocet pill
Nothing hurts a bereaved family more than knowing that the death of their loved one could have been avoided. That's why a mother, Patricia Salvidar, is taking it upon herself to spread awareness so that other families do not have to go through the same pain she went through after her daughter, Cassandra, passed away.
22-year-old Cassandra unexpectedly lost her life earlier this year because of one single pill.
On June 1, Patricia received a devastating call in the middle of the night and found out that her daughter was in the hospital. Sadly, by the time Patricia arrived at the hospital, her daughter had passed away and left behind a 2-year-old son without his mother.
Patricia was devastated when she found out that the counterfeit pill Cassandra consumed was laced with the drug fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid. "It was a complete shock," Patricia told Good Morning America. "I was like what in the world. I didn't know it was possible to lace a medication with fentanyl."
Have you seen this billboard when going to a @dallascowboys game?— Malini Basu (@MaliniBasu_) October 5, 2021
A mother from North Texas lost her 22 y/o daughter to a Percocet laced w/fentanyl pill.
The mother is raising awareness by renting this billboard for $2100.
She wants everyone to see it.#onepillcankill@wfaa pic.twitter.com/K1XtLPUpB7
Until her daughter's death, the mother had no idea that fentanyl was becoming dangerously more prevalent in the US. "If I had known this before, I would have warned my kids, I would have said, 'Watch it. You better be careful,'" she said.
Patricia has understood that there is a dire need to inform the community about taking pills, similar to the counterfeit Percocet pill made with fentanyl that Cassandra unassumingly consumed. "I've asked my family members they didn't know either," Patricia told CBS DFW. "It's something that we don't know. And that's what I'm trying to do is spread awareness so that nobody has to go through the same thing I did."
Determined to stop other innocent people from also becoming victims, Patricia is working towards raising awareness about fentanyl and its dangers. The mother has currently rented out a giant billboard near AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, and has put on display her daughter's picture along with the message: "1 pill that's all it took... fentanyl kills."
"[Fentanyl deaths] are becoming more and more common and I don't want anyone to go through the same thing that my family is going through," Patricia explained. "I wanted to do it to make people aware to not be taking anything that is not prescribed to them."
In addition to spending $2,100 from her own pocket for the billboard, Patricia also went to Bowie High School, the same high school that Cassandra graduated from in Arlington, and dropped off flyers so that more people will be informed about counterfeit pills.
"It can happen to anybody" just like it happened to Cassandra, who was "young" and "still had her whole life ahead of her," Patricia said.
The mother also set up a GoFundMe page to help with the expenses so that the giant billboard can have the important message on display for as long as possible.
"It helps with my grief because I know I'm helping others," Patricia told Good Morning America. "Cassandra's passing was not in vain. I'm keeping her memory alive."
The one piece of advice she has for others is: "Do not take anything that is not prescribed to you by a doctor, even if it's from a friend. If the bottle does not say your name on it, don't take it."
Cover image source: CBSDFW/YouTube