Eva Holland from Cincinnati met the love of her life when she was 15. She met her fun-loving Mike Settles at school and it was love at first sight.
The two knew they had to be together and when they were finally old enough, they decided to marry and have children. Mike worshipped his son, Lucas and his daughter, Ava and loved his wife more than anything.
But Mike had a dark secret. It all started out harmlessly when the loving father woke up one day with a terrible toothache. After dealing with the pain for a few days, he started to take painkillers. And unfortunately, this turned into a nasty habit: he began to take one pill after the other for even the smallest of aches and very quickly he became addicted. But, it got even worse: his life took an unfortunate turn and he was unable to live without pills, switching to heroin ultimately.
But even in his desperate attempt to go cold turkey, managing to stay clean for a few months, he relapsed. After yet another toothache he turned to painkillers again, reassuring his wife that he had everything under control, but as it turns out, he didn't. And this time it cost Mike more than his health — his wife, Eva, finds him dead. The terrible drugs had taken his life.
Eva posted a picture on her Facebook of her and her two children smiling next to their dead father at his coffin. Naturally, they were full of grief but there was an important reason for this controversial photo. Eva sought to spread a crucial message:
The photo triggered so much controversy that Eva responded with the following words:
"I'm sure this photo makes a lot of people uncomfortable it may even piss a few people off but the main reason I took it was to show the reality of addiction. 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. I know a lot of people may be upset I'm putting it out in the open like this but hiding the facts is only going to keep this epidemic going.
The cold hard truth is heroin kills. You may think it will never happen to you but guess what that's what Mike thought too. We were together 11 years. I was there before it all started. I knew what he wanted out of this life, all his hopes and dreams. He never would've imagined his life would turn out this way. He was once so happy and full of life. He was a great son, brother, friend but most importantly he was a great dad. He loved those kids more than anything. But as we all know sometimes life gets tough and we make some wrong choices.
His addiction started off with pain pills then inevitably heroin. He loved us all so much he decided enough was enough and went to rehab at the end of last year. 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. He did so good for so long but then a couple months ago it started with a single pill for a "tooth ache" which inevitably lead him back down the road of addiction instead of staying the coarse of recovery.
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. I just needed to share his story in case it can help anyone else."
And that's precisely what she did. Eva reported: "A woman came to me crying and asked if she could hug me. She said: 'I am a heroin addict and I tried to take an overdose yesterday but then I saw your words on Facebook and you saved my life. I can't thank you enough!' And so we stood there and hugged each other. That's what it's all about."
The comments on Facebook were mostly positive and the post was shared over 300,000 times. To save a life from this terrible fate, share this story with everyone you know and maybe just maybe, it'll help addicts succeed in overcoming their own battles with drugs.