By Melissa Lauber
Hannah McLaughlin sometimes saw God in the starry night sky. She was a girl who understood the mystery, and the beauty, of the galaxy. She also loved playing with her dog, Zeke. When she was little, she had plans of growing up to be Santa Claus or a farmer or president. And, at 19, she died broken – a victim of the heroin that took over her life.
She was not alone.
Maryland’s new governor Larry Hogan has declared heroin as the No. 1 crime problem facing the state. From 2011 through 2013, the number of overdose deaths in the state spiked by 60 percent to 464, state officials reported. That number continues to rise….
The statistics are troubling, but behind each of them is a story that is often marked with destruction and despair. What amazes people about Hannah McLaughlin’s story are the people she leaves behind who are using her legacy to educate others about the lethal dangers heroin poses.
Hannah is a child of The United Methodist Church. She’s the daughter of the Rev. Craig and Lisa McLaughlin of Mt. Zion UMC in Bel Air. Lisa wears Hannah’s photo in a locket around her neck. On a silver chain, Lisa also wears the serenity ring she and Craig gave their daughter the Christmas before she died.
Hannah wore it in her coffin.