Law enforcement officials and concerned residents in Kentucky came together for an impactful video to show the tragic effect heroin abuse can have on a person and their community at large.
In “The Worst Outcome Mannequin Challenge,” shocked neighbors stand by as first responders from Grant County are seen walking into a home where people appeared to have overdosed on heroin.
Like every “mannequin challenge” before, the scene is frozen in time, but in this not-so-lighthearted take, children stand like statues as they’re comforted by police and as they kneel at their unconscious loved ones’ feet.
“This is all too of a common outcome for heroin addicts,” said Thomas Worthington at the end of the video.
Worthington approached the Grant County Sheriff’s Department with the idea for the five-minute-long video to spread awareness about what authorities have called an epidemic that has hit that stretch of Kentucky with a particular fierceness.
“We’re located on I-75 about 25 miles south of Cincinnati, which is one of the main hubs of heroin distribution,” Sheriff Chuck Dills told InsideEdition.com “There’s times that [heroin overdose calls come in] at least every two weeks.”
The video contains content that might be upsetting to some, but it’s a reality that emergency responders face when responding to such calls, Dills said.
“That is realistic of what deputies and paramedics witness on an everyday basis,” he said. “Without words, it speaks for itself.”
Worthington was urged to bring light to this issue after the death of his cousin Jerry Davis, who he said died after suffering from heroin addiction.
“We loved Jerry,” he said in the video as he kneeled beside Davis’s grave. “I wish we could’ve got him a little more help, any help before this happened. Don’t f*** around with this. You could end up the same way and no one wants that.”
Davis was four days from his 34th birthday when he fatally overdosed on heroin, his cousin and Worthington’s sister, Sherry Case, told InsideEdition.com.
“He was great. He was always happy, kind, sweet, you would never have thought...” she said, her voice trailing off.
“He got mixed up in something that was wrong and with the wrong crowd and I wish we could take that day back,” Case said, tearing up. “He was our cousin, he was Thomas’s best friend; they grew up together. It killed Thomas and he was determined to do something in his name, something that was meaningful.”
The video took only 30 minutes and five takes to shoot, and was dedicated to Davis “and all others who lost the battle.”
“The reaction has been good,” Dills said. “I just received a call from a gentleman in New York who said that it was one of the most impactful videos that he’s witnessed.”
Case echoed the sheriff’s sentiments, saying: “A few people contacted Thomas saying that they’re going to get clean now, and that’s all he wanted... that if he could save one person, he would be happy.”