Death from diabetes sparks change, a new law

Kevin Houdeshell
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AVON LAKE, Ohio -- In February, Amy Houdeshell stood by her brother's tombstone and explained why her brother, Kevin Houdeshell, a diabetic died at just 36 years old.

"He was young, fit, healthy. The pharmacy told him his script had expired and we're sorry, but we can't give you anymore. He tried three times to call his doctor's office and, four days later, he passed away from not having his insulin."

Fast-forward 10 months.

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"I never imagined we would reach so many people with that one little story about my brother," Houdeshell told WKYC Channel 3 News.

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On Tuesday, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed into law legislation that passed unanimously that essentially allows pharmacists to give up to a 30-day supply of even expired prescriptions of life-sustaining drugs.

"No one should have to die because of an expired prescription and can't get hold of your doctor," said Amy and Kevin's parents, Dan and Judy Houdeshell.

The Houdeshell family has worked tirelessly to get this measure signed into law.

They got their wish this year, their second Christmas without Kevin.

Judy read from an old English class paper that Kevin wrote in high school.

"Live your life in the present like every day is your last. This is all about leaving your mark. To leave this world knowing we've made a difference, knowing that we will be remembered."

Judy wiped tears away, looking up from the paper, saying, "...and so this would be what Kevin would have wanted."

Diabetes Partnership of Cleveland

"Even though Kevin can't come back, he's made a mark in this world and he'll save lives. His legacy," said Dan Houdeshell.

The Houdeshells say other states, like Florida, Pennsylvania and New York, are following suit.

"We refer to it as Kevin's Law. The Channel 3 story that you did with Amy in February really got the ball rolling," said Dan.

"That was unbelievable. We couldn't believe the response. It was totally overwhelming," said Judy.

"It took losing my brother to save God knows how many other lives," said Amy.

Now that HB 188 has been signed into law, it will take a few months before going into effect, and it will be subject to rules from the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy.