An elderly couple from Tennessee became the butt of a joke a few months ago when they overdosed on heroin. Instead of helping out the couple, passersby laughed, took pictures and recorded videos of the helpless couple.
Now, almost two months after the incredibly sad incident, Ronald Hiers, the man who overdosed, has spoken out against the video. Both he and his wife, Carla, survived after being revived by an anti-opioid and were placed in rehabilitation.
Hiers said he has no memory of the horrific incident and said when he watched the video of him and his wife lying in strange, contorted positions while others laughed, it was “lowest point of his life.”
"I am a son. A husband. A brother. A grandfather. A father. I'm a human being," he said in a tearful interview. "That's what so many people missed about it. Those were two human beings."
However, he also admitted the mortifying video also saved his life.
Just three weeks ago, Hiers finished his treatment at a rehab center in Southhaven, Mississippi, and will temporarily reside at a supervised community to help him stay clean and make his transition to regular life easier.
His wife is also getting similar treatment at Turning Point facility in Massachusetts.
The shocking video of the couple’s helplessness got Courtland Garner, the man who live streamed the video on Facebook, 3 million views at the expense of the Hierses. He could be heard laughing in the video at the couple’s plight, however when asked about his insensitive behavior, he just said, “They were doing children things. It was a spectacle. It made me laugh.”
Hiers said that although he was upset Garner did not try and help him, he was not angry at him.
“He did not put myself nor my wife in that position. We put ourselves there. Had it been his mother or father on that sidewalk, on their face, he would have certainly called 911 instead of filming a video to see how many hits he could get on it,” he said.
It was ultimately Heirs' 34-year-old estranged daughter, who wished to remain unnamed, who got in contact with him after seeing the video and got them help.
“I was like, 'What are you trying to tell me, God? What am I supposed to do with this? I can't help him. We've all tried. We've told him to get help. We've thrown money at him,” she said. “I was supposed to see that video. I felt something in my heart that I hadn't felt in years: compassion to help.”
She does not regret helping her parents and for the first time in her life, they actually listened to her and sought help.
Carla Hiers has also issued a statement form her treatment facility.
“I am very optimistic about my recovery, and feel like God has reached down and pulled me out of a very dangerous situation," the statement read. "Since the video surfaced, I've learned that I can trust people, something I never did before. ... I don't feel hopeless, worthless and useless anymore.”
Watch the full video of the interview below.