‘Gunner went out with friends Friday night. They came back and stayed up playing video games, like most 19-year-olds do. At some point, Gunner, and his friend, took a pill.’

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“First, I want to thank everyone for the tremendous outpouring of love and support during what has become the most difficult time in my family’s life.

As most of you know, we lost my nephew, Gunner, on November 3rd. While I will say it was totally unexpected and shocking, I don’t know that anyone could ever be prepared for this kind of pain.

I have been wanting to send a message or write something so everyone can understand what happened – I know people are curious and mostly for the right reasons. I know most of you are truly concerned for me and my family. I appreciate that.

I feel it’s important to tell Gunner’s story for 3 reasons:

#1- Gunner was an amazing kid who deserved the life he won’t get the chance to live so I owe him his story to be told.
#2- I want to clear up any misconceptions and give the facts.
#3- Gunner’s story could very well save your child’s life so please, share his story.

The short version:

Gunner went out with friends on Friday night.

They came back to my brother’s house late and stayed up eating pizza and playing video games – like most 19-year-old boys do.

At some point during the evening, Gunner, and his friend, took a pill stamped Percocet. The very popular and easily accessible pain killer.

Gunner has no history of drug use, has never been a ‘problem child’, was a star athlete, wonderful son and brother and was extremely loved in his community.

We don’t know why he decided to take ‘a pill’ that night. The only thing we can assume is that the curiosity of knowing what the ‘high’ is like came into play? Again, we can only assume.

His friend also took a pill.

Both boys died what we think was pretty immediately. Both went to sleep and never woke up. – That’s the most positive thing in Gunner’s whole story – that he felt no pain and didn’t suffer. (Although, positive is a generous way of putting it).

My sister in law, his mother, found both boys the next morning. She, and my nieces, tried to resuscitate to no avail. Both boys had been dead for hours and there was nothing they, or the paramedics, could do.

The pills Gunner and his friend took were at the very least laced with fentanyl. We are still waiting on reports but there is a good chance it was more then 50% fentanyl. That’s enough poison to kill 10 adult males. According to the detective working on Gunner’s case, to draw comparison for perspective, 2 grains of table salt size of fentanyl will kill any adult.

Think about that.

Gunner never had a chance.

I’m sharing Gunner’s story because Gunner had a whole life ahead of him. He had goals and aspirations. He wanted to be a dad. He wanted to continue to play football and baseball in college. He wanted to go hunting and fishing with this grandpa. Gunner wasn’t done.

One bad choice, one stupid minor mistake was all it took.

Gunner never had a chance.

It’s very natural to be curious and want to ‘experiment’ with things at Gunner’s age. Remember when we were in HS and kids considered experimenting with cigarettes?? It’s a different time now. Kids are experimenting with pills because they think they’re safe. They’ve seen them in their parent’s medicine cabinets from their mom’s car accident last year or from when their dad threw out his back. They seem harmless.

These aren’t the pills in your parent’s medicine cabinet. They are made in someone’s garage who is trying to make a buck…a buck at the expense of our children’s lives.

THERE CAN BE NO EXPERIMENTING.

None.

It’s truly a matter of life or death.

You can’t see fentanyl. You can’t smell fentanyl.

Tell your kids Gunner’s story. Show them his picture. I can’t describe the amount of pain my brother, sister-in-law and Gunner’s sisters are going through – a pain that will NEVER end. A hole that will NEVER be filled. A life that will never be brought back. A beautiful life.

Gone forever.”

This story was written by Brandi Bundrick Nishnick of California. It originally appeared on her Facebook pageSubmit your story here, and subscribe to our best stories in our free newsletter here.

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