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PKG | Woman saves stranger's life with Narcan nasal spray kit


A Martinsburg woman got a Narcan Rx 'just in case' she would need to save a life

MARTINSBURG, W.Va.

Kathy Williams of Martinsburg is a wife, a mother, and a recovering heroin addict.

Her history with drug use is just one of the many reasons Williams decided to get certified in administering Narcan.

"Just like CPR, you take CPR [classes] just in case you need it,” said Williams.

Narcan - or Naloxone as it is also called - is a drug that stops a person from overdosing on heroin.

"A lot of people are going to look at Narcan like giving a teenager birth control,” said Williams.

Some see Narcan as an enabler, but Williams sees Narcan as a life saver.

Two months after she received her kit, a man overdosed on heroin a few doors down from her home.

"A lady [came] bursting in. She said, 'Do you have your medication? My friend is overdosing" Williams said. “So I just grabbed it out my purse. I took off running...literally ran out of my shoes.”

“When I looked at him, he had a blueish-gray tint to him, because his body was losing oxygen, because he was not breathing," she added.

Williams laid the man flat and took out the medication.

“Of course, my hands were shaking," she told WHAG from her home Wednesday morning.

Williams was able to administer the Narcan nasal spray before EMS crews arrived on scene.

“Right as they started pulling up, his eyes started flickering,” she said.

Although the man survived, thanks to Williams and her Narcan kit, Williams said she is not a hero.

"I’m just a Martinsburg resident who wants to be proud of my town again,” she said. “I don't want to be called ‘Little Baltimore’ anymore, or told that I live off of heroin highway."

Williams was certified to use Narcan kit with 18 other people at a local class in Martinsburg.

She said so far, three of her classmates have saved four lives thanks to their Narcan nasal spray kits.

In West Virginia, the so-called ‘Good Samaritan Law’ prevents police from arresting or prosecuting a person who administers Narcan to an individual who is overdosing, or calls 911 to report an overdose.

In 2014, Berkeley County had an average of two reported heroin overdose deaths per month.

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Merris Badcock is a reporter for WHAG/Your4State, an NBC affiliate based out of Hagerstown, MD. She is also a primary fill-in anchor for WHAG's daybreak, noon and 5:00 pm newscasts.

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