Drug-shame coma teenager vows to stay clean Mum was right to show world these pictures of me after I took ecstasy
A SCHOOLGIRL who nearly died after taking ecstasy says her mum was right to shame her online.
Leah Robinson, 16, fell into a coma after taking the party drug with friends at Christmas.
Mum Kerry took photos of Leah as she lay unconscious, her face bloated, with tubes down her throat and wires snaking over her body.
When doctors told her Leah was making a recovery, Kerry put the pictures on Facebook as a warning to her girl and other youngsters.
The shocking images went viral. Initially Leah felt humiliated and angry but now she has had a change of heart.
The teenager, who took a super-strong E pill, hopes others will learn from her experience.
Leah said: “I almost died. And it could happen to anyone. I was so stupid but now my eyes have been opened.
“I want to say to other teens, ‘If you don’t listen to your parents, teachers or the police, listen to me. This drug nearly killed me and although I was humiliated by those pictures, I’m now glad my mum posted them online.’
“It was the wake-up call I needed and hopefully other kids who see them will be put off doing anything so stupid.”
The disturbing images recalled the images released by the parents of tragic Leah Betts, who died aged 18 after taking the drug in 1995.
Since then ecstasy has been linked to 727 other deaths. A study in 2015 revealed its use in 16 to 24-year-olds was at an 11-year high.
The figures reflect youngsters’ alarming lack of fear of the potentially deadly class A drug.
Leah Robinson said she was far from being the exception among her friends, many of whom have let peer pressure and curiosity lead them to experiment with the potentially deadly drug.
Hours before she was admitted to hospital, Leah snapped herself looking glamorous ready for an evening of fun at a friend’s house.
In a smart high-neck blouse with perfect makeup and silver grey nails, Leah was stunning.
Hours later she was found slumped in a road, her clothes and hair caked in mud, after taking a Silver Nespresso ecstasy pill – a synthetic extrastrength version of the drug once used at 90s raves.
Leah said: “It’s so frightening. I don’t even remember taking the pill, let alone what happened afterwards.
“The first thing I knew was waking up in hospital with machines everywhere.
“I know one thing – I won’t be taking drugs ever again. I’d gone out all dressed up and the next time I looked in a mirror my face was all bloated and swollen and I looked like I’d been in a car accident.
“But it wasn’t some big thing. That’s what is scary now . I just thought it was normal. Parents don’t want to hear it but most teenagers, aged around 13 or 14, find out there are drugs around to buy. Not everyone tries them but everyone is curious. That’s natural. “If there’s a party at a weekend it’s usually common knowledge who has ecstasy to sell. “It’s usually someone the same age but you never find out who the dealer is. You’ve no idea how pure they are or where they come from. That’s what’s so dangerous. “But it was only when I saw those pictures of myself and the reality of what I was doing to myself t hat I realised it’s shouldn’t be normal. It’s terrifying.” Leah said drug taking was common among her peer group and teenagers will buy them if they have the money. She also claimed drugs education lessons failed to hit home with kids. Leah said: “When I went back to school they had another assembly about the dangers but didn’t mention my name.
“Everyone is now terrified to take them at school after what happened to me. I think most people have stopped but that’s just a handful of kids in one school. I’m hoping the message will spread to others around the country.”
Leah freely admits she ignored her school’s anti-drugs message and the warnings from Kerry, herself an ex-heroin addict, when she popped the E at Christmas – not for the first time.
She said: “I’d had it a couple ple of times be before. I liked it. It made me feel nice and affectionate, and that made ade me feel safer taking it the next time.me.
“Nobody was telling me to take it. I took it because I was offeredered it. It’s that simple. It seemed like a normal thing to do. That is how it has become these days.
“People don’t think it’s a big deal but it is. I know that now.w. I could have died.”
Leah was at a friend’s house se when she and a pal boughtt three pills for £15. She said: “That night is a black hole. I can’t recall anything beyond drinking with my friend. I’m told I was sitting in the middle of the road, refusing to go to the pavement. My friend tried to pick me up but I was a dead weight.
“Someone later said I looked like a dead cat who had been run over.”
There was so much mud in Leah’s hair that doctors at Wigan’s Royal Albert Edward Infirmary initially thought she was a brunette.
There was mud in her eyes and in the back of her throat.th She thinks she must fallen in a big puddle.p Her temperature fell to a dangerouslydange low 26C as she battled hypothermiahypo – 11C below the norm. SheSh woke in hospital 14 hours later surroundedsur by sobbing relatives. TheT publicity surrounding her ordeal was excruciatingly embarrassing for LeahLea when she went back to school afterafte the Christmas break. She said: “I felt like a bit of a laughing stock. Nobody really said anything but I f oundou t he whole t hing really embarrassing.em I felt so ashamed that everyone had seen those pictures of