At the end of July, news broke and quickly spread that Demi Lovato had been hospitalized for an apparent overdose. It spread so quickly, in fact, that Lovato’s own mother almost found out about her daughter’s hospitalization from a gossip website, as Dianna De La Garza shared in an interview on Tuesday’s episode of Newsmax TV.
In the interview, De La Garza’s first since the event, she talks through the events of that day and gives an update on Lovato’s health and her own subsequent determination to fight the opioid epidemic.
“It’s still a really difficult thing to talk about. I literally start to shake a little bit when I start to remember what happened that day,” De La Garza said. She explained that, minutes after TMZ published an article about Lovato’s overdose, her phone was quickly flooded with texts from people offering condolences and prayers—before she even knew what they were praying for.
“I was in shock,” she said. “My heart just dropped.” Right before she was about to check TMZ, De La Garza got a call from her daughter’s then-assistant, who explained the situation, told her which hospital Lovato was in, and said the pop star was “conscious but she’s not talking.” “I knew at that point that we were in trouble,” De La Garza said.
Lovato’s sister Dallas drove De La Garza and her other daughter, Madison, to Los Angeles’s Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where they immediately ran to be by Lovato’s side in the emergency room.
“She just didn’t look good—at all. She was in bad shape. But I said to her, ‘Demi, I’m here. I love you.’ And at that point she said back to me, ‘I love you, too,'” De La Garza recalled. “From that point on, I never allowed myself to ever think that things weren’t gonna be OK. I prayed, of course, all the way to the hospital, and my faith is strong. And I think that’s one of things that got me through the next couple of days, when she was in critical condition. We just didn’t know for two days if she was going to make it or not.”
She added, “I just feel like the reason she’s alive today is because of the millions of prayers that went up that day, when everybody found out what was happening. I don’t think she would be here if it hadn’t been for those prayers and the good doctors at Cedars-Sinai. They were the best. I couldn’t have asked for a better team of people to save her life.”
De La Garza said that now, Lovato, who gave her mom her blessing to do the interview, is “doing really well.”
The singer reportedly entered a treatment facility recently. “She’s happy. She’s healthy. She’s working on her sobriety, and she’s getting the help she needs. And that, in itself, encourages me about her future and about the future of our family,” De La Garza said.
For her part, the mom of three has since become a vocal advocate against the ongoing opioid crisis. “You don’t see it coming, and that’s the scary thing, you know. The opioid crisis in America is at an epidemic level, and people don’t understand that until they start researching it,” she said. “It’s something that, if it has not touched your family’s life right now, before this gets any better, it has every chance of doing that.”