News Release from: Clackamas Co. Sheriff's Office
Posted: Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016
A Clackamas County man who nearly died of a heroin overdose is speaking out from jail about the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Patrol deputy who saved his life.
Sheriff's Office Deputies Karen Moss and Steve Martin were out on patrol on Tuesday, Oct. 25 when they arrived at a home on River Road in Milwaukie and found Kaleb Johnson-Hawney lying on the floor of the garage, unresponsive.
He had overdosed on heroin.
"I injected it and felt fine for about five minutes, but then I started walking around and then next thing I know the cops and everyone was around," said Johnson-Hawney. "When I woke up my chest hurt really bad -- obviously from my heart going out and starting again."
Deputy Moss administered two doses of a drug called Narcan to Johnson-Hawney. Within minutes, he began breathing again.
Narcan quickly blocks the effects of opioids on the brain -- allowing a person suffering breathing problems due to an overdose to be revived. A person close to death is suddenly awake and breathing again.
"Deputy Karen Moss, thank you -- I could have died," said Johnson-Hawney.
Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Patrol deputies began carrying Narcan kits earlier this year. Since then, Clackamas County deputies have saved three people overdosing on heroin. Deputy Moss says she is just thankful to have been there that day.
"In this job, we might save lives every day and never know it, you get a drunk driver off the road, drugs out of someone's pocket -- but to know you saved a life is amazing," said Deputy Moss.
Johnson-Hawney said he has been using heroin since he was 13 years old. Now 22, he hopes to finally get help for his addiction, and has this message for others who may be struggling with substance abuse.
"You should stop before it's too late -- you never know what can happen," said Johnson-Hawney.
Johnson-Hawney remains housed at the Clackamas County Jail on unrelated charges.
"He's a heroin user, and he's scared for when he gets out -- that if he has nowhere to go, he will relapse again," said Deputy Martin. "I just hope he seeks the help he needs."
"I just hope it is his rock bottom, and he stops digging and gets some help," said Deputy Moss.
Currently, 26 deputies carry Narcan kits in their patrol cars. All of the deputies have gone through special training to administer the life-saving medication.
BACKGROUND: To read an earlier (Aug. 3, 2016) press release on the Sheriff's Office's deployment of Narcan, click here.
VIDEO SOUND-BITES AVAILABLE
B-roll and soundbites -- from Deputy Moss, Deputy Martin, and Kaleb Johnson-Hawney -- are available to news outlets. You can download the video files (.m4v format) from this Dropbox link.
Sergeant Brian Jensen
Office of Public Information
Clackamas County Sheriff's Office