La Garza, who has detailed her family’s struggles in her memoir Falling with Wings: A Mother’s Story, says she first learned of the health crisis through a phone call from Lovato’s then-assistant, Kelsey Kershner.
“She said, ‘Demi overdosed,’” De La Garza recalled in an interview with NewsMax TV on Tuesday. “I was in shock. I didn’t know what to say. It was just something that I never, ever expected to hear as a parent, about any of my kids. And I hesitated to ask, but I had to ask her — I remember it just seemed like the words took forever to come out of my mouth. I said, ‘Is she OK?’”
De La Garza continued, “[Kershner] stopped for a second, and she said, ‘She’s conscious but she’s not talking.’ And so I knew that we that we were in trouble.”
The shock rendered her unable to drive herself to the hospital, so De La Garza tapped her eldest daughter Dallas to take them to Lovato’s room at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
“We got there as quickly as we could. Dallas, [daughter] Madison and I jumped out of the car and ran into the emergency room to be by her side and 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, ‘I love you too.’ So from that point on I never allowed myself to think that things wouldn’t be OK.”
Over the next few days, while her daughter was held in critical condition, De La Garza says she relied on her faith to help her though. “We just didn’t know for two days if she was going to make it or not.”
In addition to the swift work from medical professionals, De La Garza credits Lovato’s survival to “the millions of prayers that went up that day.”
Lovato, 26, remained in the hospital for more than a week before she was released on Aug. 4 to enter an in-patient treatment facility.
“I can honestly say today that she is doing really well. She’s happy, she’s healthy,” says De La Garza. “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.”
The former child star has struggled with addiction, mental illness and disordered eating for years. In 2010, Lovato entered treatment, where she sought help for bipolar disorder, bulimia, self-harm and addiction. She relapsed after she left the treatment center, then entered a sober living facility for a year.
In late August, one month after her overdose, a source told PEOPLE that Lovato was “doing great,” while also adding: “This is a long road.”