Reporting from the front lines of the opioid crisis

Written by Brett Sholtis/Transforming Health | Jan 31, 2018 1:17 PM
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Denise Shanahan, right, walks with her friend and neighbor Mike Schaub, who pushes Jorden and Kaden Shanahan in a stroller. Denise Shanahan is raising her grandchildren after losing her daughter Bryanna to a drug overdose. (Brett Sholtis/Transforming Health)



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Jorden Shanahan is like many five-year-olds: He loves playing with toys, laughing at funny TV shows and showing off his drawings and other prized possessions.

They include a picture of his mother, Bryanna, smiling, holding him when he was infant. It's a reminder of one way in which his childhood will differ from many others his age.

Two years ago, when Jorden was three, he found his mother dead of an opioid overdose in her bedroom.

He refers to her as "my mommy who died," or "my mommy in heaven." Her presence is found throughout the house in pictures and home movies, but it stands to reason that Jorden would have almost no memory of her.

"He's been with me since he was two," says his 56-year-old grandmother, Denise Shanahan, who is raising Jorden and his two-year-old brother Kaden at her home in Stewartstown, York County.

Click here to read the full story from WITF's Transforming Health project.


Published in News, York

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