It was an incredibly difficult decision for Barry and Carole Martin to make, but it was one of necessity. They'd watched their granddaughter Gabi, who they'd been raising since her mother passed away, essentially throw her life away. She battled with addiction, dropped out of college, dropped out of beauty school, and stolen from her grandparents.
Gabi first tried heroin at the age of 16, according to WCPO Cincinnati. Barry and Carole first learned of her struggled after she overdosed on a nearby street corner. She enrolled in an outpatient rehab program, but it wasn't enough to change the teenager's reckless lifestyle.
When Gabi was 20, she stole $8,000 worth of jewelry from her grandmother and made a mere $250 from it. She then spent that amount on heroin - about a three day supply. It was now or never for Barry and Carole to save their granddaughter, so they made the gut-wrenching decision to file charges her for theft. Instead of a 5-year prison sentence, Gabi was sent to a long-term treatment center. This time, Gabi was able to achieve sobriety.
She was released from the Brighton Center after 16 months. "When I came home they welcomed me with open arms," she told WCPO, “They gave me a second chance.” Now, Gabi has been sober for four years and married for six months. Her grandparents were there by her side on that special day.
Gabi hopes her story can be a source of inspiration for other families who are going through something similar. She certainly won't forget her past, but now she's focused on the future.
See Gabi's full story below.