A photo of a Detroit mother hugging her daughter moments before she is taken off life support has gone viral.
Elaina Towery, 22, died on Aug. 14 at a local Detroit hospital, WJBK reported. She fell into a coma on Aug. 10 after ingesting heroin that is believed to have been laced with the prescription drug fentanyl.
The victim's mother, Cheryl Towery, 49, shared a photo of her and her daughter moments before she was taken off life support.
"She's my only daughter, my best friend," Cheryl told WJBK. "She was supposed to start her new job today, now she's on life support."
Cheryl said her daughter and a friend visited a local Burger King on Aug. 10.
"She pulled in here to use the restroom and after 20-25 minutes, [her friend] thought it was odd she didn't come back out," Cheryl recalled.
Cheryl said she then received a text message saying that her daughter would be arriving home soon. Moments later, Burger King employees found Elaina's unconscious body on the bathroom floor.
"By 6 pm, 6:30, 7 I finally got a message on Facebook," Cheryl said.
Elaina had gone into cardiac arrest. She had struggled with drug addiction for years, and had already overdosed five times prior.
"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 said her daughter first became addicted in 2010 after she used prescription drugs to help cope with her abusive boyfriend. That boyfriend has been convicted of domestic violence. They had a child together, a boy named Christopher.
"She has a 5-year-old son that she gave up due to her addiction," Cheryl revealed. "Because she wanted him to be in a better place."
Cheryl added that Elaina was working as a prostitute.
"(She was) beat up, being pimped out, being kept in a hotel room on heroin," the mother said.
On Aug. 14, doctors informed Cheryl that her daughter's vital organs were failing and that there was no brain activity. Cheryl then made the heartbreaking decision to take her daughter off life support.
Cheryl said she now hopes the photo will deter others from falling into addiction.
"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.
Several social media users flooded Cheryl's Facebook page with messages of support.
"Cheryl, i am so very sorry to hear of your loss," wrote one Facebook user. "God bless you and your family during this terribly difficult time. I will continue my prayers for you and yours."
"My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family Cheryl, i can't imagine the heartbreak you must be enduring," wrote another.
"Can't even imagine what your going thru," added another user. "My continued prayers are with Elaina, you and your family."