A mother of 15-year-old girl has taken to Facebook to share awareness of the dangers of underage drinking, and not calling for help when a teen is in trouble.
Mellisa Aho, from Massachusetts, shared some heartbreaking pictures of her daughter Ryleigh, lifeless in a hospital bed and plugged into breathing apparatus, in a Facebook post that has since been shared over 65k times.
In her post she details the story of how Ryleigh became so ill, explaining how her daughter had always been very trustworthy and communicative when with her friends previously.
Melissa wrote, ‘This past Saturday night my 15 year old daughter asked me to sleep at a friends house and go to the movies. I said yes. She has always been very good about communicating with me and checking in with me. But her plans changed that night and the series of events that followed are nothing that any family should have to experience….’
Later that evening Melissa was contacted with some terrible news. ‘I received a fb message at 100am saying someone had received a phone call saying that my daughter Ryleigh Payton was somewhere passed out.
‘Immediately my heart sank and I tried to call her phone repeatedly and of course there was no answer. I questioned who, where, when, why’s…and received no answer back because that girl was already in route of finding the girl who called her and my daughter, picked them up and brought them to my driveway.’
The first time Melissa saw Ryleigh she was completely shocked at the state her daughter was in. ‘I opened the car door to see my daughter, lifeless and foaming at the mouth covered in vomit 911 was on their way. Ambulance arrived on seen and she was unresponsive, since we didn’t have many details except she had been drinking vodka.’
At the hospital the news got worse, as doctors told Ryleigh’s family she was no longer breathing on her own. Melissa then recounts the next few days waiting for Ryleigh to wake up, ‘I suffered 14 long hours pleading and begging for my daughters life, experiencing flashbacks from the moment she was born, to her first smile and giggle, the first time she said Mumma, her first step, her 1st birthday, her first day of school, her first friendship,sleepover, sickness, her graduation of middle school, our private mother daughter moments’.
Eventually Ryleigh did open her eyes and is now back at home and comfortable, but Melissa warns that they’re not in the all clear yet and that the biggest message is getting help.
‘My daughter was with a group of teens, I’m sure as the started to notice some signs that Ryleigh was not okay panic started to set in, they thought they would get in trouble if they tried to get help so they left her there….only 1 girl who was not even her friend but an acquaintance stayed with her, trying to find a way to get my information and she succeeded. She didn’t care about getting in trouble herself, she wanted to get her the help she so desperately needed’
Melissa worries that teenagers will be too scared to do the right thing when a situation like this goes wrong, so she’s sharing her photos not just to warn parents but more to warn teenagers, ‘I’m sharing our experience so that EVERY TEEN who may come to be in this situation knows….you will NOT get in trouble for getting someone help!!!! You have the ability to SAVE a precious life!!!!!’