‘Keaton’s Place’ seeks to help those weathering the storm of addiction

Buckley Report

(WGHP) — Hundreds of people drive by it, every day, and few probably give it much thought.

Marcus Lowrey does, though.

“I was a little nervous on doing it, but it came out pretty good – a lot better than I thought it would,” Marcus says.

He’s talking about the mural he painted on the wall outside of an organization run by the mother of one of his childhood friends. It’s called, “Keaton’s Place.” Keaton played baseball with Marcus and they were close until high school when they kind of went their separate ways. Keaton began smoking marijuana and his parents did what they could to get him to stop the habit but before they could, something very big happened.

“He had some heroin that was placed in one of the cigarettes – the joints – that he was smoking by a very close friend,” recounts Keaton’s mother, Susan Hunt. “And, after three or four times of smoking the pot with the heroin in it, he was addicted.”

They got Keaton to try rehab but it never seemed to take.

“And then on June 10 of 2019, I got a phone call. I thought it was his girlfriend and it was an officer and he said, ‘I’m sorry to inform you but your son was the victim of an overdose,” remembers Susan. “So, I got in the car – I don’t know how my husband let me drive but I was screaming – and I drove to the McDonald’s on North Fayetteville Street and saw him lying on the floor of the bathroom and they were giving him CPR. But he hadn’t breathed, his heart had stopped. And it’s so funny, I found out later when I got there and started banging on the window and started screaming, ‘That’s my only son,’ that his heart came back.”

But Keaton’s brain was gone – no longer functional. The Hunts saw an opportunity in the tragedy, remembering that Keaton was an organ donor.

“He was able to give two kidneys, his pancreas, liver and his heart,” says Susan – two of those organs went to a woman named Kathy who now considers Susan a second mother. “So, Kathy thinks that Keaton is her hero.”

Susan also saw an opportunity for Keaton’s old friend. About seven months ago, she began a non-profit called, “Keaton’s Place,” which is a bridge between people with addictions and the services available to them. She has a small office in a building near the courthouse in Asheboro and she asked Marcus to paint a mural – something he’d never done, he always worked in portraits done with charcoal or graphite pencils – but he gave it a shot.

It shows a young man weathering a storm and looking for a hand to help him find his way. For Marcus, it sums up how he sees Keaton’s plight, at this time. “Don’t judge anyone for their addiction. Just hate the disease because you never know what somebody’s going through,” says Marcus.

See Marcus’ mural and hear more about Keaton’s story in this edition of the Buckley Report.

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