Mom goes viral after stunning 3-year recovery: 'It’s hard to look at'

A mother has gone viral again for her stunning turnaround after she was caught overdosing on heroin three years ago. 

In 2016, Erika Hurt went viral after a police officer took a photo of her slumped over in a car parked in a Hope, Ind., parking lot. At the time, her infant son, Parker, was in the backseat. The mother was revived with Narcan, an emergency treatment for narcotic drug overdoses, and later sentenced to six months in jail. 


Photo: Hope Town Marshal Matthew Tallent

Last Tuesday, Hurt, now 28, went viral again after she shared more recent photos of herself — this time, she appears more energized as she holds a sign that reads "Narcan saved my life" and her son holds one that says "And now I get to have my mommy."

"Today marks THREE ENTIRE YEARS of sobriety for me!" Hurt wrote. "Y'all already know, but allow me to recap. 3 years ago I was receiving Narcan to bring me back to life after I had overdosed on heroin; all while my son, my mom, and her wife stood and watched. While those are such emotional moments for my family to recall, that's really not what is MOST important today."

Hurt proceeded to explain how grateful she is for the treatment that saved her. 

"What is really important today, is the fact that Narcan saved my life!" she continued. "Narcan kept me alive until I wanted to live! While I can admit that my son was unfortunately NOT enough to keep me sober then, he is my motivation today."

Hurt's story immediately went viral. As of Friday morning, her post has been shared over 4,000 times. 

"You are brave," one person wrote in response. "We need you here. Thank you for testifying."

"Seriously so happy for you and Parker and your whole family," another commented. "I know we didn’t meet in the best of ways but you were the kindest person there and I needed that. I’m really proud of you. Truly an inspiration."

In an interview with TODAY Parenting, Hurt said she is thankful for how far she's come since her 2016 photo. 

"It’s hard to look at, but I wouldn’t be where I am today without that picture," she said. 

She also acknowledged that she hadn't been much of a mother to her son while abusing drugs. 

"I was very mentally absent," she said. "I didn’t play with him or show him attention, and I took him on drug deals."

The parental negligence caused the child to be distant, especially when he visited his mother in prison. 

"He didn’t know who I was or how to interact with me," she recalled. "That was, ultimately, when I was decided I truly wanted to be sober."

Since then, the two have repaired their relationship. Hurt has also been leading recovery meetings in Columbus, Ind. 

"It isn’t easy, but all the encouragement keeps me going," she said. "Parker is counting on me and I can’t give up."

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