Pregnant Woman Dies Of Heroin Overdose
CHATHAM, Ill. (WRSP) —
A local family is mourning the loss of not one but two loved ones to a heroin overdose. Fox's Esther Kwon was invited to join the family for what they called a "Celebration of Life" to remember and honor 24 year old Samantha Neuhoff and her unborn child.
Samantha died this past Friday after overdosing on heroin.
Dianne folder, samantha's mom, r. Wade neuhoff, samantha's dad:
"She was a very good girl," said Samantha's father, R. Wade Neuhoff. "She was my best friend," said her mom, Dianne Folder. "And this drug has taken her, and it's very hard."
Samantha's unborn daughter had been named Aadinyah. Samantha's father said, "My daughter Samantha, I loved her with all my heart, every inch of my body loved her, but I knew at some point this was going to happen. But that grandbaby did not have to go," he said.
"Upstairs was going to be Aadinyah's baby shower," explained Courtney Eiskant, Samantha's cousin. "The plates, the cups - everything up there was for a baby shower. The clothes hanging on the wall were bought for the baby shower that we were supposed to be having, not this."
Samantha leaves behind a seven year old daughter, Aaliyah Salas. When asked if she knew where her mommy was, Aaliyah replied, "She's up in heaven."
Family members say Samantha struggled with drug addiction on and off for five years, and it was an addiction that took over her body like a disease. Something the father of Samantha's unborn child understands. "You suffer the rest of your life, you fight the rest of your life," explained Isaac Brello. "And there's only few ways out of it - jails, institutions or death."
In Samantha's case, it was death from a drug that's claiming lives all over the country, including right here in central Illinois. "When you drive through Chatham, it wouldn't look like heorin is here," said Courtney. "These are still nice houses, it's a nice town, you don't think of heroin, but it's here and it took two people from us."
The family hopes that by sharing Samantha's story it will bring to light what they say are issues surrounding drug treatment centers in the area. "There needs to be more funding, there needs to be more immediate help for addicts," Courtney said.
Family and friends say Samantha's opiate addiction started when she began taking pain medication. She was scheduled to start rehab on Monday, but family members say those three days for a struggling addict were just too long. Samantha passed away last Friday.