News anchor reports on her own daughter's fatal overdose in heartbreaking segment

A veteran South Dakota news anchor who lost her young daughter to a drug overdose has reported on the tragedy in hopes of changing the way we treat those who suffer from drug addiction.

Angela Kennecke, a 52-year-old KELO anchor and mother, took to the air on Wednesday to share the details of her 21-year-old daughter Emily Groth's overdose death in May 2018.

"In recent years, we have brought you news reports on the opioid crisis," she told viewers. "But now, the opioid epidemic has hit home in a tragic and devastating way for me personally. On May 16, my 21-year-old daughter Emily died of an overdose. Her official cause of death was fentanyl poisoning."

Kennecke said that she had met with a counselor to plan an intervention for Emily the Saturday before her death. Although the intervention was scheduled for the following Sunday, Emily overdosed on a Wednesday, just days before she might have gotten the help she desperately needed. 

"I never intended a member of my family to become part of the statistics you hear on the evening news," Kennecke continued, seeming to choke back tears. "Nobody does. There is no recovery for me or my family from the loss of our talented, smart, beautiful daughter Emily."

Kennecke admitted that the only thing she was capable of doing after her unimaginable loss was to choose how she moved forward. She said she hoped that the path she chose might help save others who are fighting battles similar to the one her daughter lost. 

"My choice, even at great personal risk, is to share my daughter's story with all of you," Kennecke said during the broadcast.

"The reason I am doing this is because my only hope in the face of such devastating loss is that Emily's story, my family's personal tragedy, can be a catalyst for change," she continued. "We must come up with better, more affordable ways to treat addiction. We also need to abolish the stigma that prevents many from seeking help, including my daughter."

"If 72,000 people were dying a year from any other cause, we would be uniting to end the suffering of so many families and so many mothers." 

Emily's Hope is a fund set up in memory of Emily Groth through the Avera McKennan Foundation to help offset the cost of addiction treatment. Donate here

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