- Special Projects
Kayla Vitale’s heart stopped for more than 15 minutes as she was being transferred from one hospital to another after overdosing on heroin. “I wasn’t supposed to live,” she said recently
Now Vitale is five-months sober – and sharing her story. She hopes that her near-death experience will help prevent others from suffering a similar – or worse – fate.
Vitale is from Staten Island, where heroin death rates are 30 percent higher, per capita, than the city average. Experts believe heroin use skyrocketed following the 2012 passage of the I-STOP law, which made opiates harder to get.
Opiate addicts were forced to look elsewhere in order to feed pill habits, with many moving onto heroin, experts say.
Project Hospitality and The Food Bank for New York City are stepping in by distributing Thanksgiving turkeys – and all the trimmings – to families hardest hit on the South Shore.