Two children are now motherless after 43-year-old Amber Cummings Lucasville, Ohio died of an overdose right in front of them. Despite heroic efforts by a friend and first responders, Ms. Cummings could not be revived.
The overdose happened at the Portsmouth, Ohio apartment of one of her close friends. Last Thursday, around 8:30 pm, Cumming’s minor son discovered his mother face down and not breathing on a bed in the back bedroom. He screamed for help and rolled her over. That’s when he discovered a syringe. He was embarrassed and hid needle.
The friend came running and called 911 as soon as she saw her friend’s condition. No one in the home had seen the the Cummings for at least two hours. Her daughter was upstairs but responded when she heard her brother scream.
The friend immediately began CPR and continued until a Portsmouth Police Officer Stacey Croasman arrived at the Robinson Avenue apartment and took over chest compressions. The officer noted that the victim had no pulse and appeared to have aspirated vomit. Croasman kept up the lifesaving efforts until medics arrived on the scene to take over.
Medics arrived shortly after and continued the lifesaving efforts. They continued chest compressions, attempted to shock her heart into restarting, and placed her on an Auto Pulse automatic chest compression machine before transporting her to Southern Ohio Medical Center. Medical staff in the emergency room were unable to revive her and a doctor called Cumming’s time of death at 9:20 pm. The coroner did not feel there was a need for an autopsy.
Children Placed With Family Friend
After the medics transported his mother to the hospital, the boy admitted hiding the needle.
Officers called Scioto County Children Services to look after the children. A case worker arrived on the scene shortly after. A lifelong close friend of the victim also showed up at the scene. The caseworker granted her emergency custody of the children. The friend plans to file for permanent custody.
Officer Croasman accompanied the caseworker to do a house check at the friend’s residence and to screen the woman for drugs. The children were then taken to the friend’s home.
Cumming’s father also came to the scene of the overdose. He said he had no objections to custody going to the friend but is also willing to take the children. The father said he would contact a funeral home and make arrangements for his daughter.
The friend who took custody of children started a GoFundMe campaign to pay for funeral expenses and to pay for the children’s expenses. She said the kids were left with little besides the clothes on their back.