GREENVILLE, SC (WSPA) – Brandon Bowers’ parents, Ken and Melody, remember their son as athletic, hardworking and funny. They said his smile lit up any room he was in and recalled the way he would always comfort his friends on bad days.

A fentanyl overdose killed the 27-year-old on Aug. 4, 2022.

“He was my heart,” Melody said.

It was Melody who found her son unresponsive that night. EMS could not revive him.

After the Bowers’ son died, they made it their mission to prevent other families from knowing their pain. The two were part of a group of families lobbying state lawmakers for change earlier this year.

The couple advocated for a set of bills that, if passed, would create harsher penalties for those caught trafficking fentanyl and would effectively allow law enforcement to prosecute those who supply the fentanyl that causes overdose deaths.

Greenville County Sheriff Hobart Lewis said he strongly supports both bills and expects them to pass.

“That legislation is extremely important,” Lewis said about the bills. “We need teeth [to prosecute these cases] and that’s exactly what they’re fixing to give us.”