BRIGHTON, N.Y. (WROC) — The Brighton couple whose baby died after ingesting a loose opioid pill at a neighbor’s house has attracted a powerful ally in their fight to change the way opioids are stored.
Adam and MaryBeth Gillan stood beside Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and made the case for secure packaging Monday.
Right around this time last year, the Gillans had a new baby and a new house — life’s promises were being fulfilled.
Then a party at a neighbor’s house.
A pill from a visitor sitting on the floor.
Their 9-month-old daughter Maisie crawled up to it, unnoticed and ate it.
She died that night.
The Gillans called for accountability, but also change — no more bottles filled with dozens of loose opioid pills.
Monday, on the same day MaryBeth was scheduled to give birth to baby boy, they stood before a row of cameras to make their story a rallying cry.
“We are bursting with anticipation of meeting our son, at the same time we continue to grieve the death of our daughter Maisie,” Adam said. “It’s painful that our children would never meet each other in this world. If circumstances permit, our son’s first stop will be to the cemetery on the way home, because that’s the closest he will ever be to his sister.”
Sen. Schumer is using their case to urge the FDA to mandate that all opioid pills be put into blister packs — with each pill individually wrapped.
“It’s not very expensive to use a blister pack,” Schumer said. “But it really works. No 9-month old, no 2-year-old can get the pill out of this.”
Whatever the financial cost, the Gillans say it will never outweigh the human one.
“For other parents, we do believe this should scare you,” Adam said. “We don’t want to be coy about that, because it happened to us and it can happen to others.”