HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- A prayer vigil was held Tuesday evening to support the Garris family and other community families that have lost loved ones to drug addiction.
The vigil was held in Henrico at the Mcshin Foundation, Virginia’s leading non-profit, full service recovery center. According to the McShin Foundation, there have been nearly 30 heroin related deaths over the past week in Central Virginia.
The Garris family of Powhatan County recently suffered two tragedies due to heroin abuse.
On March 4, Taylor Garris, 20, overdosed on heroin. She was taken to Chippenham Hospital where she was placed on life support. Her parents and siblings were with her last Friday afternoon when they learned their son, Travis Garris, 27, had fatally overdosed on heroin inside his home. He just had a three month old baby.
Taylor and Travis' aunt Terri Garris Deel spoke at the vigil to help spread the word, in hopes of stopping the drug problem that has ravaged the area in the past few weeks.
“Everybody needs to come together and know how bad the epidemic is hitting us In Chesterfield, Henrico, all over Richmond,” she said.
Deel also spoke about heroin's impact on not just the user, but the family as well.
"If you got an addiction, don't put your family through it. Please don't. Drugs are not worth it. They are not worth it," she said. "My brother on a Wednesday thought his daughter might be brain dead and on a Friday, he found out his oldest son died."
She said the last week has been a nightmare for her family and she's not sure Travis' death has even set it yet. The family did receive some good news earlier Tuesday though.
Deel said her niece Taylor is now able to sit up with her eyes open and she is able to recognize her family as well.
Deel stressed the importance of being involved in your child's life, because families can be torn apart without warning. “Know what your kids are doing. Be aware and know what they are doing. Be involved in their lives,”