A Detroit mother hopes a heartbreaking photo of her holding her daughter before she was taken off life support raises awareness of addiction.
Cheryl Towery made the decision on Monday to take daughter Elaina Towery off life support after her vital organs were failing and a scan showed no brain activity, according to television station WJBK in Detroit.
Elaina has battled issues with addiction for years, according to her mother. It’s believe she overdosed on heroin laced with fentanyl.
Towery said her daughter and a friend stopped at Burger King Thursday evening.
“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.
A short time later, employees found the 22-year-old unconscious and going into cardiac arrest.
Elaina had survived five previous overdoses and visits to five different treatment centers, but this time was different.
“I wasn’t prepared for what I saw in the emergency room,” Towery said. “Because that’s the worst I’ve ever seen her.”
According to Towery, her daughter’s addiction began in 2010 when she started taking prescription drugs to deal with an abusive relationship
That boyfriend, who was convicted of domestic abuse, is also the father of Elaina’s 5-year-old son. She gave up her son due to the addiction, and her mother believes that helped contribute to the issue, the station reported.
Towery shared the photo with the hope that it will help other and addicts and their families.
“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,” she said.