SANDUSKY - A desperate search for help from the man seen in a Facebook Live stream who overdosed in a McDonald's Parking lot in Sandusky Thursday evening.
The video and the man's story are a powerful reminder of the heroin and opioid epidemic here in Northeast Ohio. The problem is real and so we want to warn you that we wanted to show you a clear picture, which some of you may find hard to watch.
But the man on the ground and his family say they are glad this video is out there.
This is real life and people are dying.
There have been 30 overdoses in 30 days in Sandusky. Four people died.
The family of the man you see on the ground wants everyone to share this story and this video. They want the truth about heroin out there.
In an eleven and a half minute Facebook Live stream, you see a 27-year-old man gasping for air after overdosing on heroin. That man lying there, seemingly lifeless, is Michael Williams. Like so many, he watched the video over and over again.
"I was fighting back the tears,” said Michael Williams. “I got goosebumps and teary eyed. Like I said, I am a strong individual, and it was hard to watch."
His older sister, Amber Roesch, found it hard to watch too.
"Watch that video and share it because that is terrifying,” said Roesch.
She hopes users all over the country see what happened to her brother.
"I do not want to have to bury him,” said Roesch. “He needs help now."
Amber says a week ago he told her he needed help, and he said it again today.
"I definitely have a problem,” said Williams. “If I could get the help right now, I would definitely go. I need it I want it."
Michael's family expected the worse when they received that phone call. But EMS and Narcan saved his life. Amber says they tried to thank everyone including Eddie Wimbley, the man who recorded it all.
"I hope it is like a wakeup call,” said Wimbley. “I just do not understand how people can do something knowing that they could possibly die."
Michael says he started using heroin four months ago. Before that, he drank a lot and took pain pills. But when he lost his job, he turned to something cheaper. Michael will tell you, he never thought it would happen to him, but it did.
You might be wondering why Williams can't just go out and get the help he needs. He says he recently lost his job so he does not have insurance and he was told a lot of places would not take Medicaid. His family told me it costs around $800 a day for him to go to an inpatient facility, which they say that's what he needs, but cannot afford.
You can watch the full video below (app users WATCH HERE).
WARNING: VIDEO CONTAINS GRAPHIC CONTENT:
WKYC's Alyssa Raymond is in Sandusky today, and spoke to the man who captured the scene on Facebook (MOBILE USERS: watch here).
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