BALTIMORE —The fatal drug overdose epidemic is providing a second chance at life for some individuals.
Baltimore artist Amy Sherald owes her every breath, step and stroke of her paintbrush to Kristin Lynn Smith.
"Unfortunately, the end of her life meant the beginning of mine," Sherald said. "My joy to be alive always stands at attention to her family, their grief and their loss."
Sherald trained for triathlons, running 50 miles a week. Then, she suddenly found herself in a hospital on a waiting list for a heart transplant.
Smith, a young mother and dental hygienist, was in the hospital, too, because of a drug overdose. She didn't make it.
According to the organ procurement organization Living Legacy Foundation, one out of every six organ donations in Maryland comes from an individual who died from a drug overdose, which is nearly twice the national average.