When 26-year-old father Mike Settles died from an apparent heroin overdose, the devastated mother of his two children felt driven to reveal the “reality of addiction.”
Following his funeral, Eva Holland posted a Facebook picture of her, her two children, and a lifeless Settles in his casket with a warning to others who may be battling a heroin addiction (deaths increased fivefold from 2001 to 2013, according to CBS News).
“If you don’t choose recovery every single day this will be your only way out. No parent should have to bury their child and no child as young as ours should have to bury their parent. This was preventable it didn’t have to happen but one wrong choice destroyed his family,” she wrote in the post that has been shared more than 200,000 times.
In the now viral post, Holland explains how Settles first was addicted to pain medication, which escalated into heroin use. Addicted to heroin, the mother of two claimed he went to rehab and came out with a new outlook on life. According to the NY Daily News, in May, Settles posted two side-by-side selfies with the optimistic hashtags “transformation” and “healthy.”
“He got out right before Christmas as a brand new man. He had found His purpose for living again, he found his gorgeous smile again, he became the man, the son, the brother, the dad that we all needed him to be again,” she wrote.
Unfortunately, something as small as a toothache caused the 26-year-old to relapse — leading him to painkillers then going back to heroin.
Holland penned, “He said he could handle it, that he could stop on his own and didn’t need to get help again. Well he was wrong, last Wednesday he took his last breath. My kids father, the man I loved since I was a kid, a great son and a great person lost his battle.”
Following an outpouring of condolences and conversation, Holland posted a story of someone else whose life was apparently changed by her heartbreaking Facebook post.
She wrote, “I was walking downtown this morning. This lady ran up to me crying and asked if she could hug me. I thought she was just having a bad day so I hugged her. She said “I am a heroin addicted and was going to try and overdose last night but then I seen your post and you saved my life. I can never thank you enough!” So we stood there hugging each other crying. This right here is what it’s all about.”