Mom shares heartbreaking photo after 22-year-old daughter dies from overdose
A Michigan mom is speaking out following the tragic overdose death of her 22-year-old daughter in hopes of warning other users and their families about the horrible realities of drug addiction.
Cheryl Towery, 49, says her daughter, Elaina, who battled addiction for seven years, stopped with a friend at a Detroit Burger King to use the restroom on Thursday evening.
But after waiting nearly half an hour outside the fast food restaurant, Elaina's friend became concerned.
"She pulled in here to use the restroom and after 20-25 minutes, he thought it was odd she didn't come back out," Towery told WJBK.
Burger King employees apparently discovered Elaina unconscious, slumped over the toilet. She went into cardiac arrest shortly thereafter.
Although Towery says she received a text message at around 5:30 p.m. saying Elaina would be home soon, she says she received a Facebook message at 7 p.m. revealing what had actually happened.
Towery then rushed to Sinai-Grace Hospital in Detroit where Elaina had been placed on life support.
"I wasn't prepared for what I saw in the emergency room," Towery told WJBK. "Because that's the worst I've ever seen her."
Towery explains that her daughter's drug problem started in 2010, when she started abusing prescription drugs to cope with her abusive boyfriend, who is also the father of her son, Christopher.
"She has a 5-year-old son that she gave up due to her addiction," Towery said. "Because she wanted him to be in a better place."
Since she first began abusing drugs, Elaina had overdosed six times.
According to Towery, it is believed that Elaina's final overdose was caused by heroin tainted with fentanyl, an extremely dangerous opioid currently on the rise in the U.S.
The bereaved mother says that after her daughter's liver and kidneys began to fail and her brain scans showed no activity, she made the impossible decision to take her off life support on Monday.
In the wake of her daughter's death, Towery says she hopes that by sharing her story, she can force other addicts and parents to "wake up" and face the realities of drug abuse.
"She's my only daughter, my best friend," Towery said. "I'm going to fight for the rest of my life to make sure the people down here on the street selling this to people, need to be locked up."