News10NBC Investigates: A mother's letter, a knock on the door and a young man's survival

Berkeley Brean
Created: December 10, 2019 06:38 PM

PENFIELD, N.Y. (WHEC) — Monroe County still has more than 100 people dying from heroin overdoses every year, but a letter by a mother tweeted by the Monroe County Sheriff's Office showed us a side to the fight that we haven't seen before.

Now News10NBC was allowed inside the effort so we can all witness it.


The letter was written on Thanksgiving by a mother who says a sheriff's deputy saved her son's life when he knocked on their door.

"Good morning. What a difference a day makes," Bernadette Marconi said reading the letter she texted the sheriff.

She wrote about the moment she picked her son Jeremy up from rehab and how the work of the sheriff's office saved his life. 

"May the miracles you create be shown upon your lives," she said reading the last sentence. 

"That's honestly truly how I feel as well," Jeremy Marconi said.

Jeremy Marconi's addiction started about eight years ago after he graduated from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. 

It ended when he overdosed in his home in Penfield in October 2018.

He was revived by EMTs.

The next day a knock came to the door.

"And I look out the window and there's a sheriff car," Jeremy said. "I didn't know who it was. My first thought was negativity. And my first thought I was going to run out the door."

But he stopped. 

Thought about it. 

And opened the door. 

"So I took a chance," he said. "And I didn't think they'd have a warrant for me or something like that. And it was Mike Favata."

"I say now I'm like the coolest Uber driver you'll ever have," Deputy Michael Favata said. 

Deputy Favata is on the Monroe County Sheriff's heroin task force. Part of his job is to visit the home of every person that overdoses and tries to get them help. 

"He clearly stated to him: Jeremy there is nothing and no one more important right now than you and saving your life," Bernadette said. 

So Deputy Favata got Jeremy into a rehab center in the Adirondacks. One year later, Jeremy's mother wrote the letter thanking the deputy and his partners for saving her son's life. 

"It truly did save my life," Jeremy said. 

Chief Investigative Reporter Berkeley Brean: "The problem is such that you're probably going to have to go somebody's else's house maybe today, maybe tomorrow."

Dep. Michael Favata: "I'll be leaving here and get to two I've been trying to get a hold of."

Brean: "So the problem is still serious."

Dep. Favata: "Absolutely, until we have zero across the board. Zero overdoses. Then we can say it's not serious."

Deputy Favata says he and his team make about 10 to 15 home visits a week. 

He says there's one young woman out there that he's tried seven times and can't find her. 

According to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office November had the lowest number of heroin-related deaths and heroin overdoses in six months and a 50% drop in overdoses compared to a year ago. 

Despite those decreases, 47 people overdosed on heroin in November and seven people died. 

A total of 114 people have died in Monroe County this year from 767 heroin overdoses. 

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