Family who lost son stepping up to help others in Jones Co.


TRENTON, JONES COUNTY - For some time, Jones County had no groups to help people battling drug overdoses. A family who lost their son has stepped up to do something about that.

"I didn't know what to do, I didn't know how to act initially and I didn't know what happened ..." said Anthony Fothergill, who was holding back tears as he talked about how he lost his son to a drug overdose. Fothergill was giving his thoughts after he and his wife, Karen, were notified their son -- who was only 26 -- was found lifeless in Alabama last year of a drug overdose. Like any parent would, they both jumped in the car, hoping that after they made the 10-plus hour drive, they would find their son breathing again. "We prepared and left here within hours and before we got to Kinston they called us and told us he passed away," Fothergill said. Their son's addiction started after he suffered an injury playing football in high school. Doctors prescribed medication to help. Unfortunately, those same drugs led to his death as Matthew, like many others, became reliant on the opiates. "When he could no longer obtain prescription medication he turned to the streets," Karen Fothergill said. That's where their son was introduced to what he thought was a cheaper solution, heroin. He continued to fall, his parents said he was a fun-loving son, husband and father of three, full of life and purpose. That's why the family is now using his legacy to start a group to raise awareness about the drug that's taken and continues to take so many lives. "It doesn't discriminate against race, sex or creed or color or anything. It goes after anyone with a vengeance," Karen Fothergill said. The group is called MATT, which stands for Making Addiction Transparent Together. It's the only group of its kind in Jones County to help those suffering from drug overdose. "Our group is open to people that are addicted, people that have recovered from addiction, families that want to know just how to help family members or loved one that's in the addiction," Karen Fothergill said. The group held its first meeting about a week ago and plans on holding others in September.

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