Last month, Canadian mother Sherri Kent received a devastating phone call: her son Michael was in hospital on life support.
“You know, it doesn’t really click in that this is real and this is happening,” she tells CBC. “They tell you that your boy is never going to wake up.”
Michael was 22 years old. His mother describes him as a kind and trusting person.
“Michael had a compassion for everybody,” she says. “He’d give you the shirt off his back. He was that type of child.”
Michael is believed to have died from an overdose of the drug fentanyl, a powerful painkiller. “My son was not an addict,” Kent wrote on Facebook. “He made a mistake that cost him his life.”
Michael was living with his sister. Kent says he had used drugs in the past, but nothing except marijuana for the previous four months.
The day before he overdosed, Michael and his sister bumped into a man who offered him drugs. His sister forced him to refuse. But the next day, when his sister was napping, Michael went and found the man.
“This gentleman had told my son he had some really strong heroin," Kent says.
The two took drugs together in the toilets of a nearby store. According to Kent, the man got “messed up” and left Michael in there on his own.
“About 20 minutes later, he was too scared to go back and check on my son… so he ran for the people who own the store to unlock the door and that's when they found him.