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A Woodstock, Ont. family is pushing for harsher penalties for those lacing and selling drugs with fentanyl after a young family member died of an overdose.

The emotions are still raw for Connor MacKay’s grandfather Al MacKay.

“We were all there right until the end and we had to pull the plug on April 1st at 10:58 a.m.”

Connor was only 17 years old when he was rushed to Children’s Hospital in London from Woodstock after a carfentanil overdose that, sadly, he had no chance of recovering from.

Crystal MacKay, Connor’s aunt, says, “They told us in the hospital that when it did happen that even if he was to survive at all, from the time it happened and he ingested it he was brain dead and would’ve never been the same.”

Connor couldn’t be saved but his family wants to try to save other from the grief and pain of a life cut short due to fentanyl, a substance that was responsible for 73 per cent of accidental opioid related deaths in Canada last year alone.

“It’s poisoning somebody and I believe it’s murder,” says Crystal.

The family has started up a petition to push for stricter penalties against drug dealers using fentanyl and have organized an event called Connor's Quest.

Crystal says the goal is to bring awareness to the community and its youth.

“We would hear about fentanyl and carfenanil and we would think, it’s not around here and won’t happen, but it does. It’s everywhere, so we want to make good out of this tragedy and he’s going to live on, no one will forget him and now he will do good and save lives.”

More information about the Connor's Quest event can be found here.