Father Pens Heart-Wrenching Facebook Post About Daughter’s Fatal Overdose

By Victoria Kim 01/03/18

“If you can’t kick the dragon for good I will be the one to zip you up, but I will be with you every step of the way when you need me.”

Karisten Sherman
Karisten Sherman Photo via Facebook

An Ohio father made sure his daughter’s fatal drug overdose did not happen in vain, as he warns others of the tragedy that drug abuse can bring.

Tim Sherman has so far reached tens of thousands of people, if not more, with a heart-wrenching Facebook post in which he described getting the call on Christmas Eve informing him that his daughter, 23-year-old Karisten Sherman, had been found dead of a drug overdose.

“At 5:50 pm I got the call from the Det at Eastlake Police that my daughter was found dead in her bed from an overdose,” he wrote. Sherman recalled, in graphic detail, what it was like to see his daughter, “fists clenched… grasping so tight at what looked like she was trying to grab life back in her.”

“I was told I couldn’t touch my daughter in case there was any lethal powder still on her,” he wrote. “I ask for gloves and glove up cause I’ll be damned if I’m not going to help my daughter one last time or hug her and let her know I love her.”

Now the family is awaiting a toxicology test to identify the drug (or drugs) that killed her. 

Since Sherman published his post on Facebook on December 26, it has received tens of thousands of Likes and hundreds of comments from loved ones, Karisten’s recovery community and strangers who caught wind of the story. The outpouring of support has gotten the attention of the media, which has shared the post with thousands more.

Karisten had been sober from heroin for just over a year and was doing well, according to her father. “She kicked the dragon square in the balls and I didn’t think she was ever gonna look back for it.”

Sherman described going with Karisten to her first meetings—AA, NA, Narcan—where she said she met “some really good people” in the recovery community who she was able to relate to. Her mother, who Sherman really is not fond of, “allegedly taught her to blow Zannies when they met” and branded Karisten “with Gawd awful scratch tattoos.”

This was the turning point that led Karisten to heroin, Sherman said. “Zannies are hard to get at times so that’s where the H came into play, since it was easier to get and cheaper to buy,” he wrote.

Karisten promised her father that she would never touch heroin again. At the time, he warned her, “If you can’t kick the dragon for good I will be the one to zip you up, but I will be with you every step of the way when you need me.”

Now, as his nightmare has become reality, Sherman expressed how devastated he was that his daughter—who he described having a close relationship with—did not reach out to him for help. “I don’t know why she didn’t call me like she promised. It hurts so bad that she didn’t call,” he wrote. “I thought the Love she had for me would keep her from going back to that drug ever again.”

Sherman kept his promise, and was there when her body was being moved. “I kept my word and spread the bag out and carefully placed her in it to say goodbye to her so they can find out what it was that she took. I zipped her up in her body bag and helped them carefully place her on the cot.”

He is hoping that his ordeal will help others to get the help they need, and empower families to follow their gut and fight for their loved one’s life. 

“No matter who you are or what you do or how perfect you think someone is… this heroin shit can come into anybody’s life and destroy it,” he wrote.

Read Tim Sherman's full Facebook post here.

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr