Mother of Overdose Victim Celebrates Signing of Maryland Good Samaritan Law

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    NEWSLETTERS

    News4's Chris Gordon talked to the Maryland mother who lobbied for passage of the good Samaritan bill which was signed into law Monday. The law will provide limited immunity to people who seek medical assistance for someone who has become sick using drugs. (Published Monday, May 5, 2014)

    A Maryland mother who lobbied lawmakers to pass the so-called good Samaritan bill is grateful Gov. Martin O’Malley signed it in to Maryland law Monday.

    For Ginger Rosela, Monday was one of the few happy days she's had since her 23-year-old son, Jake, died of a heroin overdose.

    She came to Anapolis from Calvert County , she has worked hard to get this bill passed and now she stands nervously behind Governor Martin O'Malley as he signs the Good Samaritan law.

    "I've got the governor’s pen that signed the bill, which is now going to be law, and I just whispered in his ear, ‘Thank you for doing this for us. We appreciate it,’" Rosela said.

    The law protects people who are doing drugs, see someone else in distress and call to get that person medical assistance instead of fleeing the scene.

    "If two users are together and one overdoses, then the other one can call 911 for help and stay with them, and when the ambulance gets there, they have Narcan on them and they can give them that Narcan and it will reverse the effect,” Rosela said. “Most addicts shoot up together but die alone, and so hopefully, once we get the word out that, Hey, there is help out there. Let’s save some lives."

    She keeps Jake in her prayers every day.

    "I would tell him that I miss him and I love him and I'm doing this for him and just to keep me strong, because some days I'm not," she said.

    Jake's death left a hole in her life, but she said the thought that the good Samaritan law might save some other family from tragedy gives her strength.

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