Mother of 13-year-old fentanyl victim makes a stand

13-year-old Kaysen Villarreal was the youngest of three fentanyl-related deaths.
13-year-old Kaysen Villarreal was the youngest of three fentanyl-related deaths.(kauz)
Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 10:59 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - The mother of a 13-year-old who passed away from a suspected fentanyl overdose is now standing up against the fentanyl crisis the community is facing.

“It’s hard to be strong in this. This is one of the most difficult things. I shouldn’t have to be burying my baby ..None of us should,” Brandi Melo said.

13-year-old Kaysen Villareal lost his life this past weekend from an apparent fentanyl overdose.

Melo said he was staying the night at a friend’s house on Saturday when it happened, but it wasn’t until Sunday morning that she got the call that would change her life forever.

“My 15-year-old son Jason calls me and I told him I’m in church, so he texted me and said I needed to answer the phone immediately because something was wrong with my 13-year-old,” Melo said. “Then he sent me a screenshot of a picture that some kids had posted on Snapchat of my kid laying dead in an apartment.”

Kaysen is now among 18 deaths just this year in Wichita Falls caused by a fentanyl overdose. Three of those deaths, including Kaysen, happened just this past weekend.

“Everybody loved Kaysen, he was amazing, he had a smile that would light the whole world, you couldn’t stay mad at him, he would give you that little sideways smile and it was a wrap,” Melo said. “He didn’t deserve this and neither did any of the other kids and people that’s died from this. He was 13, he would’ve been 14 on the 7th of October. His life was just beginning.”

Brandi has now made it her mission to not let her son die in vain. She is even teaming up with Silvia Martinez, the mother of 19-year-old victim Alize Martinez.

“No matter what it is, what it takes, we’re going to fight, and we’re going to try and get parents to come together in this town,” Melo said. “We have to get educated, we have to make a stand for these babies because if we don’t make a stand, we’re going to keep losing them. That was three deaths this weekend, my baby being the youngest one. Kaysen didn’t deserve this, nobody deserves it.”

If you are interested in supporting the family, you can visit their GoFundMe account. Funeral proceedings will begin with the visitation Friday, Sept. 23 from 6-8 p.m. at Owens and Brumley, with the funeral following at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24 at City Hope Church.