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Family remembers brother that fentanyl ‘robbed’ in 2019

This May marks the two-year anniversary since Marguerite Ward, 31, lost her baby brother Matthew to fentanyl poisoning in an accidental overdose.

Matthew was only 21 when he died, and his family believes his addiction developed after he got a prescription for opioids in his early teens following a tooth extraction. 

“The fentanyl and opioid crisis in this country is robbing so many communities of their young people — the people who would be future community leaders, spiritual leaders, artists, business leaders,” Ward told The Post on Wednesday.

A few years before his death, Matthew “became dedicated to his recovery,” his older sister said. He attended Narcotics Anonymous meetings, he turned to religion, he went to an outpatient rehab at a hospital and had the full support of his family.

But on May 31, 2019, Matthew’s father and another one of his sisters discovered him dead in their Westchester home.

“He had a slip-up. It was one mistake, it was a biological force that many addicts experience,” Ward said. “He was trying and fentanyl robbed our family of his bright soul and robbed the world of the amazing things he was contributing.” 

Marguerite believes Matthew developed his addiction after he was prescribed opioids in his teens following a tooth extraction.
Marguerite Ward

The day before his death, Ward said she had been FaceTiming with her brother. He was a musician who was studying music in college and was showing Marguerite his songs.

Seeing the overdose numbers released Wednesday brought Ward back to the heavy emotions of her brother’s death.

“These numbers are gut-wrenching, stomach-turning and soul-crushing — because so many of these deaths are preventable,” she said. 

The Ward family
Matthew’s father and another one of his sisters discovered him dead in their Westchester home on May 31, 2019.
Marguerite Ward

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