Lakewood mother says son ‘loved to dance’ before finding him dead from fentanyl, now sounding alarm

Donevan Hester was just 16 years old when his mother found him dead from a fentanyl overdose.

“I touched him and he was cold. And I knew right away that he wasn’t with us,” recalled Alyssa Eman, Donevan’s mother.

She told us that Donevan was a junior at Lakewood High School who dreamed of becoming a firefighter.

“He loved to dance. He was so funny. He had an infectious smile and infectious laughter,” said Eman.

Now, he’s the latest victim of the fentanyl crisis - a crisis that continues to grow each year.

“Fentanyl is absolutely a crisis in America. I’ve been a DEA agent for over 25 years, and this is the worst thing I’ve ever seen. This is a crisis of enormous magnitude can’t be overstated,” said Special Agent in Charge, David Reames of the DEA. “Fentanyl dealers are not concerned about the age or the demographics of the people involved. They’re just gonna sell to whoever will buy.”

Eman believes the accessibility of the drug led to her son’s death.

“I had no clue that it was in the halls of the schools, bathrooms of the schools, that students were bringing it to the schools. That it was so easy to get. I had no clue,” she said.

Now she’s sounding the alarm to warn other parents of the drug’s prevalence and lethality.

“I didn’t know he was hiding this from me and I just wish he’d given me a chance to help him,” said Eman. “I need to do something for my son. And I know that my son wouldn’t want anybody else to lose their life to this drug or any drug.”

She said she wants to honor his memory with a beautiful funeral, which she has set up a GoFundMe for, and by sharing his story.

Agent Reames said one of the most important things a parent can do is talk to their children about fentanyl.

“It’s what keeps me up at night. Fentanyl is our number one priority. We’re working tirelessly to take this poison off the streets,” reiterated Agent Reames.