Updated: Aug 11
Jessica's mom, Kate
Jessica Elizabeth Grubb
Charleston, West Virginia
My beloved Jessica, the second oldest of my five daughters, died on March 2, 2016 as a result of oxycodone toxicity.
After struggling for many years with the demon that is heroin addiction, I had hoped and truly believed that Jessica was finally on the clean and sober path to recovery.
Jessica’s struggles began during her freshman year of college, when she was raped at a party; not telling a soul about the incident for six years. This set the stage for many agonizing years of depression, addiction, anorexia, and bulimia. Jessica said that heroin was the only thing that, "made her not care."
In the six months prior to Jessica’s death, she was slowly improving and coming back to the Jessie I knew. She had found a city she loved, a job, a supportive community, and was exercising a lot. Jessica was running many miles a day, which seemed to be helping her with her anxiety.
Unfortunately, due to all of the running Jessica had a reoccurrence of a bone infection and had to have surgery in February. I panicked! Doctors are too free with prescribing narcotics and many have no idea what these drugs can do to someone who is already struggling with addiction. Me, my husband and our adult daughter with autism drove six hours to be with Jessica; we wanted to make sure these doctors knew about Jessica’s history of struggling with addiction. We made it clear to all nurses and doctors that Jessica was recovering from a heroin addiction and Jessica told them the same thing. But when I mentioned this to one of the doctors, he said, "Shhh!" I asked him, “What are you talking about?” The doctor began to tell me that, "Jessica is such a sweet girl, we don't want people knowing that." I was struck dumb by the doctor’s comment.
The weather forecast showed an incoming snow storm, so we ended up only staying two days with Jessica, leaving for home after her surgery was complete. We were confident that all would be well; meaning, Jessica would not be prescribed any narcotics.
That afternoon the doctors put Jessica on an IV containing oxycodone, reawakening her addiction. They then sent her home with 50 oxycodone pills and a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC or PIC line).
The next day we tried calling Jessica multiple times, as did her sisters. Jessica was supposed to be the maid of honor in her oldest sister's wedding. We even were sending her pictures of dresses. We received no response from Jessica.
I panicked and called the local sheriff’s department and they proceeded to conduct a police welfare check on Jessica.
My sweetie Jessica Elizabeth Grubb, child of my heart, was found dead. Eight of the 50 prescribed oxycodone pills were gone. On March 2nd, Jessica became one of the 185.