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Gawthrop Greenwood’s Cathie O’Donnell is being recognized for her work to help prevent drug overdose deaths in Chester County through Project Naloxone.
O’Donnell is an administrative assistant at Gawthrop Greenwood whose child died of a drug overdose two years ago. She is a member of one of the community groups working to ensure every police cruiser in the county has a kit of Naloxone, also known as Narcon, which can counteract the effects of opioid overdoses. If a police officer uses the kit, it’s usually replaced the following day.
The kits are entirely paid for by the board of Good Fellowship Ambulance and EMS, which held a luncheon December 1 to honor O’Donnell and another mother who lost her child to a drug overdose, as well as first responders and county services.
“We’re losing generations to this,” said Gawthrop Greenwood attorney Patrick O’Donnell, who emceed the luncheon, is a longtime Good Fellowship board member and former county commissioner. “If you look nationally, there are more deaths from overdose now than there are car accidents — a startling figure.”
Since 1990, drug overdoses have nearly tripled nationwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Opioids such as heroin and prescription painkillers are largely to blame. Thirty-five lives have been saved in Chester County from Project Naloxone, which started a year ago in partnership with many groups, including Narcotics Overdose Prevention Education (NOPE), the county health department and county drug and alcohol services.