It’s every parents nightmare: learning your infant child needs to go under the knife.
For Mary Ann and Wesley Landers, of Birmingham, Ala., whose 7-month-old daughter needed surgery to correct a congenital throat problem, the story had a happy — if short-lived — ending.
Don’t get me wrong: The operation, performed last Wednesday, was a complete success.
After posting a jubilant message on Facebook informing family and friends that “Lucy is out of surgery and it all went well,” the couple decided to “celebrate.”
According to the Associated Press reports, the next morning authorities found Mary Ann Landers, 31, unconscious from an apparent heroin overdose in the child’s hospital room at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Wesley Landers, 32, lay nearby in the bathroom, also unconscious from an overdose.
Mary Ann, also the mother of a 3-year-old by a previous marriage, later died.
The husband was revived and arrested on drug and weapons charges after authorities said they found a loaded gun in his pocket.
“I can’t answer for what happened in that hospital room because I can’t get my mind around it,” family friend Tracey Bice is quoted as saying through tears Friday.
Bice told reporters that Mary Ann never used drugs prior to meeting Landers, an habitual abuser, and agreed to marry him only if he was willing to clean himself up.
Landers was arraigned Friday in Cincinnati on charges of drug possession, carrying a concealed weapon, having weapons while under disability, and possessing drug abuse instruments. Bond was set at $400,000.
At the hearing, Hamilton County Municipal Court Judge Curt Kissinger said, “If the heroin epidemic has exhibited itself in a more tragic form, I haven’t seen it.”
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