Family remembers brother ‘stole’ by fentanyl in 2019

This May marks the second anniversary of Marguerite Ward, 31, poisoning her little brother Matthew through an accidental overdose of fentanyl.

Matthew was just 21 when he died, and his family believes his addiction developed after he was prescribed opioids after a tooth extraction in his early teens.

“The fentanyl and opioid crisis in this country is depriving so many communities of their young people — the people who would be future community leaders, spiritual leaders, artists, business leaders,” Ward told The Post on Wednesday.

A few years before his death, Matthew “devoted himself to his recovery,” his older sister said. He attended Narcotics Anonymous meetings, he turned to religion, he went to outpatient rehab at a hospital, and he had the full support of his family.

But on May 31, 2019, Matthew’s father and another of his sisters discovered him dead at their Westchester home.

“He had a slip. It was a mistake, it was a biological force that many addicts experience,” Ward said. “He tried, and fentanyl stole his bright soul from our family and robbed the world of the amazing things he contributed.”

Matthew and Marguerite Ward
Marguerite believes Matthew developed his addiction after being prescribed opioids as a teenager following a tooth extraction.
Margaret Ward

The day before his death, Ward said she had been FaceTiming with her brother. He was a musician who studied music in college and showed Marguerite his songs.

Seeing the overdose figures released Wednesday brought Ward back to the heavy emotions of her brother’s death.

“These numbers are heartbreaking, stomach-rendering and soul-crunching — because so many of these deaths are preventable,” she said.

The Ward family
Matthew’s father and another of his sisters discovered him dead at their Westchester home on May 31, 2019.
Margaret Ward Family remembers brother ‘stole’ by fentanyl in 2019


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