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Mother remembers son lost to accidental Fentanyl overdose

Posted at 1:08 PM, Jul 07, 2022
and last updated 2023-03-06 10:57:58-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Every morning for six years, Leah Finch would call to check in on her son Kiefer.

"We would check on each other and make sure we tell each other we love each other because you never know when that moment may happen," Leah said.

When the morning did come that Kiefer didn't answer her call, her mother's intuition led her to get up from her desk and work and head to his apartment.

It was there that she was informed by the apartment manager that her son had passed away in the night from an accidental overdose.

Kiefer was just shy of his 30th birthday and had experienced his share of struggles over the last few years.

His son, Isaiah, was born on June 23, 2013 and drowned on June 11, 2016.

Leah believes her son purchased Xanax to help cope with the anniversary of his son's death.

The police determined Kiefer died of an accidental overdose. It is believed these were "pressed pills" laced with unknown amounts of Fentanyl.

"From what I'm reading and learning, they call them 'caps' and that anybody that's out there considering buying it should not because you have no idea what levels of Fentanyl that are mixed in the batter they make," Leah said.

Kiefer's death was one of the several deaths that occurred from Fentanyl laced drugs.

"He ached and longed for his son for six years and he finally found peace to move forward in his life and it was taken from him when he was in a good place," Leah said. "I had no idea going through the counseling and going through the rehab that he still struggled silently enough to buy that."

Kiefer began receiving help after Leah used the "Baker Act."

The Baker Actis a Florida law that allows designated professionals including law enforcement, judges, doctors or mental health professional to initiate an involuntary mental health examination on a person or child who exemplifies a mental illness by displaying behavior that poses a threat to themselves or others.

"I recommend that to any parent because the judge told me that if it keeps them alive, then just continue to do it," Leah said.

He was given court appointed rehab and was dedicated to his recovery.

"He loved to paint, he loved to help the homeless, he loved speaking to others about his story. He was learning to heal. This was the first time I'd seen him happy with his life and where it was headed," Leah said.

Recently, he'd even helped a young girl living on the streets in a blanket and helped her get medical care.

"I was so proud of him because he cried and said he couldn't stand to see her in that bad of shape," Leah recalled.

Leah added that Kiefer was active in wanting to be mentally healthy. It is believed that Kiefer was clean of all drugs until this episode.

He filled his days with daily trips to the gym with his brother, regular family dinners and had even made plans to watch movies and eat pizza in celebration of his son's heavenly birthday.

"He had a beautiful, beautiful heart. I'm going to be completely lost without him and so is my son," Leah said.

Leah is now fighting to bring awareness to Kiefer's story so no other family will have to suffer such loss.

"Teach your kids to never, not even once, that is my motto, that is my slogan that I want every school kid, girl, boy that wants to stay up and study, or lose weight, or peer pressure at a party to never, not even once, don't even try it," Leah said.