Stayton family raising awareness of fake pills in wake of aspiring pilot’s death

A local family is sharing their grief after they lost their son and brother to fentanyl poisoning.
Published: May. 9, 2023 at 10:32 AM PDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

STAYTON, Ore. (KPTV) - A local family is sharing their heartbreaking loss in hopes of warning others of the dangers of fake pills.

It’s been less than a year since Stayton resident Kim Minten lost her son, 23-year-old Courage Minten, to fentanyl poisoning.

“We make it through the days better now than we did at first, it was really difficult,” Minten said in a recent interview with FOX 12.

SEE ALSO: Hooked on fentanyl: Salem man shares journey to sobriety

Minten and her husband adopted Courage from Ghana when he was 13 years old, but they first got to know their future son through video chats when he was 8.

It was their oldest daughter’s college internship that made the family of five complete. That daughter, Alex, spent time at an orphanage in Ghana, falling in love with the child she described as a bright light.

“I noticed him letting all the other kids eat first in line and a lot of nights, Courage wouldn’t get any food,” Alex Peters recalled. “I also noticed he was really dedicated to school.”

“His giggle, his smile, was just infectious,” Peters added.

Courage died last summer, after taking a pill he thought was oxycodone. He overdosed on the family’s couch and later died in the hospital.

“We, 100%, know he had no clue there was fentanyl in it,” Minten said.

Her son had been researching oxycodone on his laptop right before he passed out.

“He was obviously worried about the side effects and probably because he was going to be drug-tested for his flight jobs,” Minten.

It had always been Courage’s dream to become a pilot, said his family, adding that he recently completed flight schooling and was well on his way to achieving that dream.

“He got his pilot’s license, his commercial endorsement, his instrument rating and so he was doing great and loving flying,” Minten said.

Courage had recently moved home to apply for jobs and had been out with friends at bars in Salem, in the hours before he took the pill that killed him.

“Unfortunately, he made a mistake” Minten said. “And you should be able to make one mistake and not die from it.”

SEE ALSO: Fentanyl called ‘greatest threat’ of all drugs in Portland area

Minten and her daughters are now raising awareness of the dangers of fake pills and illicit fentanyl. They’ve spoken at the middle school and high school that Courage attended.

The family has also created the Courage Fund, a nonprofit to raise money to fund education and opportunities for children in Ghana. You can find more information here: