DETROIT (WXYZ) — "It's something that I wouldn't even have thought would happen," said Cameron Edwards as he watched his girls play video games in his small rental home in Pontiac. Cameron now has full custody of his daughters, ages 10 and 8, after their mom, Donna Wilson, died suddenly over the weekend.
Sunday morning, Lavaeha Edwards, 8, and her sister, Kissiah Edwards, 10, thought their mother and some friends she had over for a party the night before were just sleeping on the floor.
Cameron sent his daughters a text Sunday morning to find out what the girls had planned for the day. They told him they didn't know. "We haven't eaten anything yet," they wrote in a text to their dad who then asked if their mom was making breakfast. The girls told Cameron that their mom wasn't making them anything to eat because she was still asleep.
Thankfully, the girls had been taught to call 911 if something was wrong and when they could not get their mother to wake up and the house smelled funny, Kissiah called for help.
Detroit Police believe their mother and two others, Rashawn Nathaniel and Marcel Redmond, all in their 30s, died from a drug overdose. A fourth person was able to be revived with Narcan.
On top of losing their mother, Cameron says police told him that he cannot retrieve anything from the home for fear it's been contaminated by fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid often involved in deadly drug overdoses.
"The detective told me that they found fentanyl in the home," Cameron said. "Everything is basically hazardous and part of the crime scene."
On Tuesday, The Detroit Public Safety Foundation's Executive Director Patti Kukula told 7 Action News that she first heard about the need for new items from a first responder who assisted the girls. The non-profit foundation is now collecting donations of new clothes, shoes, hats, underclothes, winter coats, twin beds, sheets, blankets, towels, and toiletries.
Kissiah is a girls size 14 with she wears a 6 in shoes. Lavaeha wears a size 12 in clothes and a 5 1/2 in shoes.
Donations can be dropped off in the lobby of Detroit Public Safety Headquarters, 1301 Third Street. For more information, call (313) 628-2169.
Cameron said they are in need of a four bedroom place to rent in Pontiac so Kissiah and Lavaeha can each have their own bedroom. Cameron said the most he can afford to pay is $800 a month. "That would be the blessing that I really need right now," he said.
Click here if you would like to make a donation through a fundraiser Cameron Edwards has posted on his Facebook page.
Almost 250 people have reportedly died from overdoses in the city of Detroit this year.
According to Detroit's Health Department, 280 people died as a result of an opioid-related overdose in 2017.
In 2018, there were 2,599 overdose deaths across Michigan with 2,036 of them being opioid-related, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.