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Family Grieves Heroin Overdose Death of 21 Year Old Daughter from Danbury: ‘My baby is gone now. Please hold your babies tight … arm them against the heroin and opiate battlefield.’

Report from Paula Antolini
January 2, 2017 5:26PM EDT

 

OBITUARY

Family Grieves Heroin Overdose Death of 21 Year Old Daughter from Danbury: ‘My baby is gone now. Please hold your babies tight … arm them against the heroin and opiate battlefield.’

Torrington Police found Kaitlyn Knapp dead of a probable heroin overdose on Thursday morning, December 29, 2016, in Torrington. She was one of two female overdose victims found in different locations, and a third victim also found, who is now hospitalized, and police suspect the cases may be related.

“Police Lt. Bart Barown said the two fatal overdoses are related because the two women – a 29-year-old from Massapequa, N.Y., and a 21-year-old from Danbury – were acquaintances. The third woman – who was found unconscious in front of the pharmacy at Stop & Shop on High Street and had to have CPR performed until she regained a pulse – is 28 and from Seymour. She remains hospitalized at Charlotte Hungerford Hospital. Barown said the names of the three women are not being released yet because family members are still being notified.” reports the Republican American.

The family of Kaitlyn Knapp wrote a heart wrenching obituary (see full obituary below) which in part reads, “My baby is gone now. Please hold your babies tight and teach and educate them as much as possible to arm them against the heroin and opiate battlefield. Heroin knows no boundaries nor does it discriminate.”

Kaitlyn had dreams and aspirations similar to most girls her age, “Kaitlyn tried gymnastics, Irish step dancing, cheerleading and karate before finding her love of soccer. She was also an amazing cook and once dreamed of becoming a chef,” the obituary reads.

The unusual obituary accentuates the power of drugs, and the epidemic we are facing, “She fought hard and battled her demons of this heroin epidemic playing Russian roulette on the heroin battlefield. Once on heroin’s battlefield, it is so hard to find your way out. She was so much more than a warrior though. She was a daughter, a granddaughter, a niece, a sister, a cousin, a girlfriend, a friend. As beautiful as she was on the outside, she was even more beautiful on the inside.”

A memorial service will be held at the Hull Funeral Home, 60 Division St., Danbury, Thursday evening at 7:00. The family will receive friends, preceding the service at the funeral home from 5:00 to 7:00. To light a candle or leave an on-line condolence, please visit HullFuneralService.com

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked to please send donations to The HERO Project, c/o Peter Herger, Esq., 5 Lake Avenue, Danbury, CT 06810.

The HERO Project was formed in January 2016 when Bethel native Donald E. Olson, 43, leading the group, decided he wanted to attack this issue head-on because he and his family experienced the devastating sudden loss of a young family member in May 2015, due to addiction. Olsen formed a group in Bethel, CT called the “Hero Project” to try and stop this from ever happening to anyone else ever again.  The name represents “Heroine Education to Resist Opiates.”  Olson said he wanted to “save one life at a time.”  Click here to learn more about The HERO Project. 

From the HERO Project (: “Another beautiful person lost her fight to addiction. We would like to send our deepest condolences to the Knapp and Handrahan Families today. Kaitlyn was a beautiful soul who will be missed by many. The HERO Project would also like to thank the family for directing donations in Kaitlyns honor to us. From all of us here we are so incredibly sorry for your loss. May you all find comfort in the memories that you have shared with her..

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From the HERO Project (Jeff McKenna):

“Sometimes one meets people who, in the deepest depths of personal tragedy, are amazed to find a family who in their darkest hour, emerges this strong and purposeful unit. Donny Olson and I had such an experience this afternoon when, after several conversations on Facebook, we paid a visit to Brett, Erica, and Kaitlyn’s Oma and Opa. In honoring their wishes, here is Kaitlyn’s obituary that they desire be shared far and wide. Her Opa in addition asked that anyone and everyone who is struggling or knows someone who is struggling with addiction/substance use disorder, to print this out and show it. Plant a seed to hopefully change and save a life. This, THIS shall be Kaitlyn’s legacy.”

OBITUARY

Knapp, Kaitlyn D.

Kaitlyn Diane Aurielle Handrahan Knapp, age 21, lost her fight against addiction on December 29, 2016. She fought hard and battled her demons of this heroin epidemic playing Russian roulette on the heroin battlefield. Once on heroin’s battlefield, it is so hard to find your way out. She was so much more than a warrior though. She was a daughter, a granddaughter, a niece, a sister, a cousin, a girlfriend, a friend. As beautiful as she was on the outside, she was even more beautiful on the inside. Kaitlyn spent summers camping with her grandparents and friends. She loved our family’s traditions including smoking cigars the last day of every family cruise with her Opa, mom, Aunt Erica and Uncle Richie. She traveled as far east as Turkey and as far west as Alaska. Kaitlyn tried gymnastics, Irish step dancing, cheerleading and karate before finding her love of soccer. She was also an amazing cook and once dreamed of becoming a chef. She loved her Opa to the moon and back. She often fed into his sarcasm which he unknowingly well-schooled her. Kaitlyn loved animals sneaking Baby Kitty home in her purse and attempting to keep him a secret in her room. When she laughed, she laughed loudly and with full intent and with the biggest most beautiful smile. See she was so much more than an addict just like every addict out there. She deserves to be loved, known and praised for the person she was. Society needs to move away from the “addict” stigma. My baby is gone now. Please hold your babies tight and teach and educate them as much as possible to arm them against the heroin and opiate battlefield. Heroin knows no boundaries nor does it discriminate. It is a war out there but there is safety in numbers.

With a universe’s amount of sadness, you will be sorely missed by your loving family and friends my beautiful, angelic Kaitlyn. You will forever be my ubu boo boo.

Kaitlyn is survived by her mother and best friend Suzanne Brett Maybury Handrahan of Danbury, CT; her father Karl Knapp and wife Diane of Montrose, PA; brother Tyler Knapp of Florida; her stepfather Emmett J. Handrahan and wife Jennifer of Danbury, CT; maternal great grandmother Lenore Shankman of Washington; maternal grandparents Peter and Anita Lucsky of Danbury, CT endearingly known as Opa and Oma by all of Kaitlyn’s friends; paternal grandparents Lee Knapp of Montrose, PA and Frank and Diane Baur of Brookneal; her Aunt Erica and Uncle Richard Brilhante of Danbury, CT and cousin Nicole Flynn of Florida; Aunt Angelina and Uncle Matthew Dawson of Springfield Center, NY; Aunt Deidra Auslander Klidonas of Holiday, FL; Tracey Cunningham of Brookneal, VA; and her boyfriend Daniel Meyer of Southington, CT as well as numerous other family members and beloved friends.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to The HERO Project, c/o Peter Herger, Esq., 5 Lake Avenue, Danbury, CT 06810. https://www.facebook.com/theheroprojectbethel/

A memorial service will be held at the Hull Funeral Home, 60 Division St., Danbury, Thursday evening at 7:00. The family will receive friends, preceding the service at the funeral home from 5:00 to 7:00. To light a candle or leave an on-line condolence, please visit HullFuneralService.com

 

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