AMHERST TWP. — Lorain County Domestic Relations Judge Sherry Glass had just started cooking dinner Monday night when she heard someone pounding on her front door.
Moments later, she would be administering the anti-overdose drug naloxone to a dying man who was in a car parked just outside her house.
Glass said when she went to the door she saw a frantic man, who was yelling, “My friend’s dying! My friend’s dying!”
She said she told the man to call 911 and once she heard him get on the line and saw him head back out to his car, she called out to her 6-year-old daughter and teenage son to stay inside and went to see what was going on.
Inside the car, she said, she saw a second man who appeared to be in bad shape.
“He looked dead,” Glass said. “He looked gray.”
She said she called her husband, county Sheriff’s Deputy Dan Strohsack, and asked him where he kept his dose of naloxone, which police officers in the county carry to help revive people who are overdosing on opioids.
Glass, who oversees the county’s Family Drug Court, said she’s gone to events where people are trained to use the nasal spray, but when confronted with the reality of it, she wanted to make sure she got it right.
“It was one of the scariest things I’ve ever seen or been a part of,” she said.
Glass said Strohsack, who was on his way home from running an errand, talked her through how to administer the proper dosage, although it seemed to have little effect.
“He still seemed lifeless, but he still had a pulse,” she said.
A few moments later, she said, deputies arrived and ended up giving the man two more doses of naloxone before he suddenly revived.
“It was unbelievable seeing someone who looked dead and gray, and I’m thinking there’s no hope for him, and he sits up,” Glass said.
Because the man who originally came to her door asked for a deputy, Glass and Strohsack said they think he stopped because he saw Strohsack’s cruiser and knew a deputy would likely have access to naloxone.
“I can’t say I’m not glad that they saw the sheriff’s car and stopped, because otherwise who knows what would have happened?” she said.
The man who overdosed was helped up and assisted to an ambulance that also was sent to the scene because of the 911 call.
Strohsack said he’s seen firsthand what a fatal overdose looks like and also has had the opportunity to save a few lives with naloxone while at work, but he never expected the opioid epidemic to hit so close to home.
“Thankfully, we at the Sheriff’s Office have a take home car program and this kid walked to an ambulance instead of his family planning a funeral for him,” Strohsack said.
Strohsack and Glass said they didn’t know if anyone was charged or even the name of the man who nearly died.