Local man turns tragedy into a community conversation

Local man turns tragedy into a community conversation

OREGON, OH (WTOL) - A funeral director in Oregon has taken multiple calls in the middle of the night, but one call this past July changed his life and mission. Now he is fighting the heroin epidemic with the help of his community.

Brett Tscherne has spent many nights on call for Eggleston, Meinert and Pavley Funeral Home helping families navigate loss and prepare services for their loved ones, but he never thought he'd take the call for his own family.

"My cousin overdosed and it was a call you never want," said Tscherne.

Drew Bochi, was just 29-years-old when he overdosed at a home near Starr Elementary in Oregon. Tscherne said his whole family was unaware of Drew's drug use saying he showed no signs like they'd expect.

While they couldn't help him with his battle while he was alive, they are fighting for him now as Drew's case is in court to hold others accountable.

Tscherne prepares funeral services daily, but he said planning his cousin's funeral was one the hardest things ever.

"I mean it's just making my heart beat out of my chest right now," said Tscherne. "The things that I do on a day-to-day basis you know I help family members with funeral arrangements, but when it's your own cousin it totally hits another string."

Brett is also an executive officer for the Eastern Maumee Bay Chamber of Commerce. With his help they are hosting a community forum to talk about the opiate problem hitting every community.

They will host a panel discussion with medical professionals, first responders, detectives, families affected by drug addiction and overdose along with recovery support professionals.

"4,149 individuals overdosed on heroin last year and something needs to change and to just generate the conversation," said Tscherne. "I believe the conversations started, but we need to know where to go."

Doors open at 6 p.m. Thursday October 26 at Northwood Schools auditorium with the panel discussion set for 6:30 p.m. They hope to raise awareness in the community and spark real change in the battle against opioids.

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