The framed pictures of Sherry Bateman’s daughter in her Ware home serve as a loving reminder that her daughter is always by her side.
"I really miss her," said Bateman.
About a year ago, Bateman noticed something wasn't quite right with her 21 year-old daughter. Amie's smile and contagious energy slowly started to fade.
"She always made her hair perfect, her makeup perfect,” explained Bateman. “And then I noticed she kind of dropped off from that and she wasn't taking care of herself.”
Bateman said it was clear something was up.
"Her and I have always been really close, so I was able to sit down and talk with her and try and kind of get it out of her what's going on," said Bateman. "She ended up telling me that she had started doing heroin and, of course that's a big shock for a mom ... or anyone to hear that."
Amie was always surrounded by a large group of friends. But, sherry says, unfortunately -- her daughter fell into the wrong crowd.
"She was the kind of girl that if you hounded her long enough, she's going to cave. I wish she had been a stronger person."
But together, with her mother, Amie was strong enough to try to get help. Ware's Clean Slate program offered her regular therapy sessions and a supportive community to combat her addiction.
She stayed in the program for three months.
"She started taking better care of herself, she started looking healthy," said Bateman.
Once sober, and out of the program, Amie moved away for a while. Bateman thought it was the fresh start her daughter desperately needed.
But, the change was short-lived and she returned home.
On November 13th, Bateman and Amie spent the day doing what they love most – shopping, singing behind the wheel of the car, and being together.
"I'm thankful to have that last night with her and have it be so wonderful," said Bateman.
What Bateman didn’t know was that would be her last day with her daughter. Later that night, Amie went out with her friends.
"We were at the front door when I said goodbye to her and we gave each other a big hug and we told each we loved each other. I had no idea that that would be my last hug, my last I love you from her ... no clue."
A mere three hours later, sherry received a call at work that would change her life forever.
"It's a phone call parents don't want to get ... and, I got it."
Amie had overdosed on heroin and was at Baystate Medical Center after months of being clean.
“She did it one more time and that, that was it,” said Bateman.
While Bateman grappled with the loss of her daughter, dozens of other families knew her pain all too well.
Baystate hospital handled 40 overdose cases -- thought to be linked to a bad batch of the cheap drug.
Sherry is telling her story to help other families who may be going through the same thing.
"I don't wish this on anybody,” said Bateman.
Sherry says -- no matter how hard it gets -- you can never give up or lose hope that things can change.
"You have to be there and be as strong as you can for your child to try and save their life because this could happen to them and I don't want it to."
Sherry lives with the reality of her daughter's overdose each and every day -- but she hopes her story will raise awareness of the crippling epidemic, which robbed her daughter of the rest of her life.
But, she'll never know what became of her daughter in those final moments.
"Why she did it that night? I'll never know! I'll never know."
Amie was an organ donor -- and, four of her organs went to patients in need.
One of those people has reached out to Bateman -- and the pair want to meet.
Bateman said -- knowing a piece of her daughter lives on and her daughter was able to save someone else's life -- gives her peace and comfort.
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