Society

Mother shares graphic images of her daughter to warn against underage drinking

15-year-old appears "lifeless" with a 2.8 blood alcohol level

Mother shares graphic images of her daughter to warn against underage drinking

Melissa Aho received a message a few weeks ago that any parent dreads. After going out with friends on a Saturday night, her 15-year-old daughter was found completely passed out, covered in vomit and foaming at the mouth. She appeared “lifeless” and was dropped off by a friend.

While her daughter was typically a responsible teen who kept in contact with her mother, this particular night she had a 2.8 blood alcohol level and her friends were too worried about getting in trouble to say anything to anyone or to call the ambulance.

So they left her there.

Thankfully, there was one friend who stayed behind and did what she could to save her friend, who might have died if no one was contacted.

The whole situation devastated Melissa Aho, who took to social media in hopes of bringing awareness to other teens and parents about underage drinking.

She posted about her anguish when the ambulance arrived.

“While arriving there the doctors informed us my daughter was No longer breathing on her own at all. 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, laughing, joking, running, snuggling and so forth, I was thinking of her siblings and what losing her would do to them and the rest of her family and all of the people that love her.” [sic]

It was an experience no family ever wants to go through and so desperate was Aho to prevent it from happening to another, she posted graphic pictures of her daughter in the hospital, hoping that it will bring greater attention to the severity of underage drinking.

“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!!!!! So please reach out and get help no matter what the circumstances. That one girl SAVED my daughters life by contacting someone who could get ahold of me and if it were not for her the reality of it is I would be burying my daughter this week. PARENTS share this with your children so they see the dangers of under aged drinking and what it can do!!!… Don’t ever think this couldn’t happen to you because it is very real and it’s everywhere!!! Our pictures of her may be disturbing to some but our hopes are in sharing our pain we may be able to PREVENT AND SAVE ANOTHER CHILD!!! SHARE OUR STORY!!!” [sic]

After 14 hours, Aho’s daughter opened her eyes and is on the road to recovery. She still has breathing issues, injuries to her body from being intoxicated, and many other health problems that have not resolved.

In the end, Aho hopes that others will not have to endure what she endured and that if something bad happens at a party, teenagers will not be afraid to call for help. Saving a person’s life far outweighs any punishments that may come from getting caught drinking. Every parent would rather have a living child, who has hopefully learned a lesson that needs no further scolding, than the alternative.

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Philip Kosloski

Philip Kosloski is a husband and father of five, and staff writer at Aleteia. He also writes for The Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network (Apostleship of Prayer), and blogs at the National Catholic Register.