N.C. Teen Hailed as Hero for Saving Toddler Brother Who Almost Died After Fentanyl Exposure

The toddler's parents were charged with felony child abuse

<p>Stanly County Sheriff

Stanly County Sheriff's Office

Shiann Hartsell, left, and Justin Hopkins

Two North Carolina parents were charged with child abuse after their 22-month-old nearly overdosed on opiates, the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office announced.

And according to a report from WSOC-TV, the young child might have died had it not been for his fast-acting teenage sister.

Det. Karcin Vick-Dunn told the TV station that the toddler ingested a small amount of fentanyl, and his sister noticed that he was having a hard time breathing.

“The juvenile sibling definitely saved that child’s life,” Vick-Dunn told the outlet.

In a Facebook post, the sheriff’s office says first responders arrived at the scene and administered Narcan and took the toddler to the hospital in stable condition.

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Shiann Hartsell, 30, and Justin Hopkins, 30, were each charged with felony child abuse inflicting serious bodily injury, felony possession schedule II controlled substance, felony maintain vehicle/dwelling/place for the use of controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia, police say. Hopkins was also charged with possession of a firearm by a felon.

Both are in custody at the Stanly County Jail.

It is unclear if either has entered a plea or retained an attorney.

If you suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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