DETROIT — A Michigan 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 her daughter, Elaina Towery, off life support after her vital organs were failing and a scan showed no brain activity.
Elaina has battled issues with addiction for years, according to WJBK. She is believed to have died from an overdose of heroin laced with fentanyl.
Cheryl says 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,” Cheryl said.
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.
Elaina’s addiction began in 2010 when she started taking prescription drugs to deal with an abusive boyfriend.
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.
“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,” Cheryl said.