National News

Father shares experience of daughter's overdose death

Posted July 31

— It is news that no parent ever wants hear.

Tonight, Mayor Megan Barry and her husband Bruce are living a painful reality.

Bobby Cooper made it a mission to raise awareness of addiction after losing his daughter to an overdose.

Cooper says the Barry family will need a strong support system to get through this nightmare. He shares what it's like to lose a child to an overdose.

"I just did not want to believe that this was my daughter," said Cooper.

His 24-year-old daughter Jessica died of a heroin overdose in December of 2016.

"She was my first born," he said. "She was my first hello, the first time I ever fell in love."

Cooper says the pain of losing a child, doesn't go away.

"I'm a total mess. I don't know which way to go. I don't know what to do. My child is not here, and that's devastating to try and cope with," said Cooper.

Since Jessica's death, Cooper began volunteering with recovery organizations. He wants to help other families who will have walked in his shoes.

"There's others out there, who hurt just like you, and that's important getting into some sort of therapy, some sort of help," said Cooper.

Amber Mohr is the director of alumni relations with Addiction Campuses in middle Tennessee.

While it's still not known how Max Barry overdosed, Mohr says there's an overdose epidemic in our country.

"It affects everybody. It affects the mayor's son. It affects people in Williamson County, I know two Brentwood mothers who lost adults sons to overdoses," said Mohr. "It only takes one hit. You don't know if your next hit is going to be your last hit. I can't imagine what the Barrys are going through this very moment.

"They need closure," said Cooper. "They need to know that they've taken care of their child. Today, their son needs rest."

Cooper created his own organization called Addiction at Home, in hopes it will help other families.

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