DETROIT (WJBK) - Desperately holding onto her daughter, Cheryl Towery of Howell looked out the window of Sinai-Grace Hospital in Detroit Monday wondering how she got here.
"She's my only daughter, my best friend," Cheryl, 49, said. "She was supposed to start her new job today, now she's on life support."
Outside the hospital is the Burger King on McNichols and Schaefer. That is where Cheryl says her 22-year-old daughter, Elaina, who has battled addiction for seven years, stopped with a friend 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.
She then received a text at 5:30 that her daughter would be home soon, but Burger King employees discovered Elaina unconscious and going into cardiac arrest.
"By 6 p.m., 6:30, 7 I finally got a message on Facebook," Cheryl said.
Cheryl says her daughter has overdosed five times and has been to five treatment centers in the past.
"I wasn't prepared for what I saw in the emergency room," Cheryl said. "Because that's the worst I've ever seen her."
Cheryl says Elaina grew up in a loving home in Howell, Mich., but her daughter's addiction began back in 2010 with prescription drugs to cope with her abusive boyfriend.
That boyfriend, who has since been convicted of domestic violence, along with other crimes, is also the father of Elaina's son, Christopher.
"She has a 5-year-old son that she gave up due to her addiction," Cheryl said. "Because she wanted him to be in a better place."
And that, Cheryl believes, fueled her daughter's addiction further, often finding her daughter "beat up, being pimped out, being kept in a hotel room on heroin," Cheryl said.
Cheryl says her daughter's liver and kidneys were failing, and her muscles were deteriorating. A scan Monday showed no brain activity. It's believed her heroin was laced with fentanyl.
"They cannot control it," she said. "It took me seven years to get to this point."
And now, as this mother says goodbye, forced to take her only daughter off life support Monday, she hopes a photo with her hospitalized daughter will force other parents, other addicts - everyone - to wake up.
"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.
Help for addiction is available. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has contact information for treatment and support in every county in Michigan. CLICK HERE FOR MORE
If you'd like to make a donation to Elaina's family to help pay for her funeral, you can do so via their GoFundMe account here.
There will be an open visitation for Elaina on Sunday, August 20, 2017 from 2-6 p.m. at MacDonald's Funeral Home, located at 315 N Michigan Ave in Howell.
A mass of Resurrection will be held on Monday, August 21 at 11 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church at 440 E Washington St. in Howell, followed by a procession to Mt. Olivet Cemetery on Thompson Lake in Howell.