Heartbroken daughter shocked as Portsmouth dad dies from taking heroin

Gary Brushwood from Portsmouth who died after a drugs overdose
Gary Brushwood from Portsmouth who died after a drugs overdose
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A HEARTBROKEN daughter has warned people of the dangers of taking drugs after her vulnerable dad - who was not known for dabbling with drugs - died after taking a bad batch.

Lifelong Portsmouth man Gary Brushwood, 50, was taken ill before dying after taking a small amount of heroin last Thursday in Woking, Surrey, leaving his daughter Jade Brushwood devastated.

Gary with his daughters Charlie, left, and Jade

Gary with his daughters Charlie, left, and Jade

The 28-year-old admits she may never get to the bottom of why her ‘kind’ and ‘generous’ dad died in the manner he did.

Although the death is not being treated as suspicious, Jade believes Mr Brushwood, who suffered mental difficulties after the divorce to his wife, could have been led astray.

A 42-year-old man was also admitted to hospital after taking heroin in the Guildford Road area of Woking but has since been released. 

Police have launched an investigation in the area as they look to trace the supply of drugs.

Jade said: ‘It’s shocking and came out of the blue. I’m confused how he died from having heroin in his system because he did not know anyone there. I doubt he would have even known what he was taking.  

‘He was very trusting and was probably introduced to it by people. It was a one-off thing - he was not a regular drug user. People need to be careful and know taking drugs can kill you.

‘He was staying in a secure unit and then a supported lodgings in Woking which he was hoping to get out of soon. He was meant to be starting college for a bricklaying course next week.

‘The last time I saw him three weeks ago he was very happy and was doing really well.’

Woking police borough commander, Det Insp Andy Greaves said: ‘We are urging drug users to take the utmost care and to seek medical advice from their local hospital immediately if they have any concerns. We also need the co-operation of drug users, and their friends and family, to get this potentially dangerous batch off the street.’ 

Mr Brushwood moved to Surrey about four years ago but spent most of his life in Portsmouth. ‘He had a lot of friends in Portsmouth who will be sad to hear about his death,’ Jade said. 

‘My dad was a really warm character, who was generous and kind.’

Jade revealed she is struggling to fund her dad’s funeral. She added: ‘It’s very stressful trying to deal with his death but it is made worse by trying to organise and pay for the funeral.’

To donate go to www.gofundme.com/f/give-gary-brushwood-the-send-off-he-deserves

Mr Brushwood leaves behind his two daughters Jade and Charlie.