Man who appeared to be dead on sidewalk in viral video wants to warn others

Posted at 7:18 PM, Mar 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-28 16:02:23-04

"Anybody who's overdosed knows that's a life or death situation right there," says the man who appeared to be dead on a recent video that went viral.

He asked that he only be referred to as "Jimmy," and he's hoping his near-death experience will be a wake-up call to others who are using drugs or considering it.

Jimmy has been living on the west coast and had been clean for almost a year when he returned home to metro Detroit and relapsed with what could have been a deadly dose of heroin.

But the strangers who videotaped Jimmy after he appeared to be dead on a sidewalk on Detroit's east side called 911.

A lot of outrage grew when the video showed the man who was taking the video say, "Check his pockets to see if he's still breathing."

Jimmy was robbed of over $300 and his cell phone was stolen.

"Even though they did that, and I may be embarrassed, they saved my life at the same time," says Jimmy who has been sober since the incident in February. "I was sober just about a year at that point. Just a couple days away from a year. I came back to visit Detroit and I screwed up again."

When EMS arrived, Jimmy says they administered Narcan to reverse the effects of the heroin.

"Usually that takes one time. It took two or three times and as soon as I came out they said the police will be here in three to five minutes, so you want to make sure you get out of here so nothing else happens."

Jimmy says the strangers who robbed him and called 911 also used his phone to call his family.

And he says when EMS workers advised him to leave before police arrived, he drove a few blocks to meet up with his family. They then transported him to an area hospital where he remained for two days.

"I have temptation when I go to Michigan just because familiar places, familiar faces," he says. "Whatever the case may be, but then, at the end of the day, somehow I'm able to stay sober out here, I don't know why."

Jimmy is just thankful to be alive and back in recovery.