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Woman reaches out for help before death

Colleen Creamer • Updated Aug 12, 2016 at 12:00 PM

A 29-year-old Lebanon woman who reached out publicly for help with her drug addiction on a Mt. Juliet Facebook page on July 21 died Monday in Smyrna. 

The cause of death is yet unknown.

Ashley Selby, who attended Lebanon High School and who worked at Sportswear Promotions in Mt. Juliet, wrote on the Facebook page “Hip Mt. Juliet” that she had lost everything and was in grave need of a rehab center.

“… In a week I have lost my children, my home, my family (this is my fault), my car, my boyfriend and my dog … I have no money mostly because I have spent my money on hotel rooms or drugs … People at work feed me lunch most of the time, and I am not asking for money. I am asking for information, for anything that may get me back on my feet so I can get back my children and my family …”

The community responded swiftly with places, contacts, phone numbers, prayers and lots of love. With help, Selby found a grant that would get her into Samaritan Recovery Center in Nashville. She went in, was assessed and accepted, but was turned away that day for lack of a bed.

Sara Roark, one of the people who reached out to Selby after the post, said she believed that if she could have been taken in that day, there may have been a different ending.

“On July 21, she went and was accepted, but there was a wait on a bed, and she was told to go to medical detox,” said Roark, adding several people looked for a place for her to detox but couldn’t fine one. “There just has to be a way for a facility to take people right away as soon as they need it and keep them until a rehab has a bed.”

Selby’s cousin, Kayla Rene Holbert, who had watched her cousin struggle, said she believed her aim was to get back onboard with her children and family.

“She truly, absolutely wanted help,” Holbert said. “Her main goal was to get her kids and her ex-boyfriend back so they could be a family again.”

Roark said Samaritan Recovery Center did the best they could.

“I will say they went above and beyond getting her a grant to pay for her rehab and everything, but there just wasn’t enough room,” Roark said.

In the end, that small amount of time between reaching out and the time Selby was in safe hands possibly proved deadly.

Selby’s parents, Mike and Debbie Wall, and Selby herself, had endured grief over the years. The Walls lost their only other daughter to a brain infection five years ago. Selby lost an infant son at 5 months old in February 2010.

For now, friends are posting videos and words of sadness on Ashley Selby’s Facebook page. 

The thread on the Hip Mt. Juliet Facebook page where it all started continues to be flooded with hundreds of posts of shock and dismay.

Visitation will be Friday from 10 a.m. until noon at Sellars Funeral Home in Lebanon. The funeral service, conducted by Pastor Gary Miller, will be Friday at noon in the chapel of Sellars Funeral Home. Interment in Cedar Grove Cemetery will follow the service.

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