Good Samaritan who saved addict dies of heroin overdose

Published: Mar. 1, 2017 at 6:39 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 2, 2017 at 7:15 AM EST
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - It was nearly 60 days ago that Amanda Rogers last used heroin and it almost killed her.

Since that time, through recovery at the McShin Foundation, she's found ways to stay clean and fight the desire to use.

"At night now I've gotten in the habit of praying. I always in my head do a  gratitude list, what I'm grateful for, and then I pray," said Rogers.

On that list is the good Samaritan named John, who brought Rogers back to life after her near-fatal heroin overdose in January. Just two week ago, a heroin overdose took John's life.

"I just can't put into words how it made me feel. I just kept thinking to myself, 'What would have happened if he had done that a day before I overdosed and he wouldn't have been there?'" said Rogers. "I just pray. I pray for his family, his brother."

John's older brother Tom says John struggled with substance abuse his most of his life, but heroin cost him his family and his job.

"He's a hero. It's unfortunate he was able to save her life, but couldn't save his own," said Tom.

Amanda met John just days after New Year's Day when she was looking for a place to use heroin.

"At first when I was talking to him about that I wanted to use, he was hesitant. You could tell he was hesitant about it. He was like that's probably not the best thing to do," said Rogers.

John walked Amanda to a fast food restaurant, but when she didn't come out of the bathroom after shooting up, John took action.

"He instinctively broke in the door of the restaurant of the bathroom. He breathed for her and did CPR for five minutes before the ambulance got there," said Tom.

Tom says John called him immediately after EMTs took Rogers to the hospital. Days later he even went to meet Rogers and her family at the McShin Foundation.

"Because of Amanda, he stopped using. I always would drug test him  He really wanted me to drug test him that last weekend before he passed away, and I just never got around to it," Tom said.

Tom says his brother relapsed and died at VCU Medical Center on February 11, one day after overdosing on heroin.

"I owe my life to that man, and now his life is gone," said Rogers.

Now Tom is sharing his brother's story because he wants people to understand what it's like for addicts, and their families, battling this disease together.

"Now I join this group nobody wants to be a part of. This group would do just about anything to have another 24 hours with them," said Tom.

Rogers is grateful for what John did and says there are things she used to take for gr anted when she was getting high, for which she has a newfound appreciation.

"I actually just did my first money order for my rent check here. It was the greatest feeling," she said.

She wants other addicts to know they too can get back control of their life.

"Addicts, get in recovery and take suggestions," said Rogers. You can get stuff back you can have hope, you'd have to work on it."

  • For more information about the McShin Foundation visit or call 249-1845

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