by: Mearl Purvis Updated:
Sixty-one-year-old recovering addict Ronald Hiers, a graduate of Frayser High School, will tell you he spent more than a decade trying to kill himself.
Twenty-four-year-old music producer and aspiring rap artist, Courtland Garner, who graduated from Whitehaven High School, has spent a decade trying to stay alive.
They are seemingly from two different worlds.
Garner, recorded a live, and now viral, Facebook video of Hiers and his wife down and out, overdosed on heroin in October.
Though just in his twenties, Garner had witnessed this real life drama many times before.
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There were other people taping the October heroin induced meltdown of Hiers and his wife, but it was Garner's video that stood out.
Hiers daughter saw it and called Addiction Campuses. She got her dad and stepmom in treatment.
She was the only person on his thank you list… until I called Garner and asked him to meet Hiers. He immediately agreed.
Sunday, December 4, after nightfall, on a dead end street in North Mississippi, the now recovering addict came face-to-face with the man who posted video for the world to see of him passed out on heroin.
The nervous jitters seemed to fade away once Ron walked through the door.
Garner said this is what no one heard on Facebook when he arrived.
“I said this guy needs help,” Garner said.
“911 was already called when I got there. It was. That what they said.“
Garner said why he didn’t touch Hiers and why he would hesitate the next time as well.
“It's so many crazy things going on in America. I could have touched him and they might have charged me with manslaughter. You know what I mean. I'm young and black,” Garner said.
Fear of being blamed then arrested. It’s a sentiment shared by young black men around the country. Hiers accepted his explanation and understood it.
“The only reason I'm walking now is because of that young man because of that video," Hiers said. God put him there. He put him on that phone and he put my wife and I on that bench and sidewalk. There’s no way around it.
If you are having trouble breaking an addiction or you know someone, please call the Addiction Campuses 24/7 hotline 1-888-614-2251 or visit their website.
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