JonTerez Broussard: Louisiana student's funeral goes viral, family hopes it'll save lives
'All my friends say that JonTerez is the patron saint of social media,' Mary Broussard, mother of JonTerez Broussard, said
JonTerez Broussard was a Louisiana college student who, like any other youngster, wanted to go viral. Tragically, it happened after her death. Broussard got all the attention on the Internet only on her November 4 funeral. Her mother, Mary Broussard, said: “All my friends say that JonTerez is the patron saint of social media. She went viral. I’m like, ‘If anybody could make that happen from heaven, it would have been her.’”
As per reports, the 20-year-old, who was a student at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, died in late October after taking a recreational drug she didn't realize was laced with fentanyl. Her devastated family then held a darkly humorous funeral for her, which was shared on TikTok, to keep her spirit alive. The funeral reportedly attracted around ten million views and the family believes it will help save others’ lives. You can see the video here.
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The father of JonTerez, Bob Broussard, said, “Fentanyl-laced recreational drugs are a crisis affecting young people across this country. What we’re about is saving lives and raising the level of consciousness of high school and college students locally, statewide and nationally about the presence and dangers of fentanyl in commonly used recreational drugs that were previously thought safe and nonlethal.”
Bob Broussard added: “That’s our focus — to save lives — to save as many as possible, as quickly as possible. If JonTerez would have had the benefit of this information, she would still be alive today. No doubt.”
November 13 was JonTerez’s 21st birthday, but her family celebrated it by burning dried flowers from her memorial service and eating at Central Pizza, where they had her favorite appetizer too. Also, after her death, her family donated her organs while the tune of “Amazing Grace” echoing across the hospital. The organs reportedly saved the lives of four people.
Not just that, JonTerez inspired a UL professor to teach freshmen students about the danger associated with recreational drugs. Linda Fairchild, the professor, also gave out printed cards that included guidance about recreational drugs to other classes’ students. She said: “I just thought it was an urgent matter. We need to talk about this issue because it is not going away,” before adding, “I think it’s all about education. The more our students know, the better prepared they’ll be.”
Meanwhile, an obituary written for JonTerez read, “JonTerez Antonia Broussard, beautiful daughter and baby sister, was born November 13, 2000. She was affectionately called ‘JT’ by her friends and ‘JaJa’ by her family. JaJa came into the world as a fearless fighter and left with the same vigor for life. A renegade like her ancestors, she was a self-directed authority who was infinitely passionate and tenacious about getting what she wanted.”
JonTerez’s sister AnnMarie took to Instagram and wrote an emotional message while sharing pictures of her sister, “Jaja, my heart is shattered right now. I never thought I would ever have to write this, especially now. This is already the longest we have gone without being together. I can't imagine or even want to do life without you. I can't ever say enough how much I love you. I will never stop being your big sister. I will always cherish and miss your beautiful big heart, smile, our humor, and our strong bond.”
She stated, “I have the strongest connection with you out of anybody and I always will. I'm thankful every single day to God for bringing me you. He definitely brought us together for a reason. Thank you for believing in me, trusting me, inspiring me, and pushing me to be my best self. I'm thankful for the little miracles we experienced with you this week. You fought hard for the biggest fight of your life to the very end. Until I see you again, I love you.”