Young man was look­ing for­ward to be­ing home at Christ­mas

Glamorgan Gazette - - News - JES­SICA WAL­FORD jes­sica.wal­ford@waleson­line.co.uk

THE fam­ily of a young man who died after go­ing to a friend’s house for drinks have de­scribed how he told them he “couldn’t wait” to see them all at Christ­mas shortly be­fore he passed away.

Zac Tay­lor, from Porth­cawl, was just 28 when he died, hav­ing moved from Wales to Aus­tralia with his girl­friend and made it their new home. Zac had also set up his own car­pen­try busi­ness. But an in­quest into his death heard he died after be­ing found un­con­scious hav­ing gone to a friend’s house for drinks.

In a eu­logy given at his fu­neral, his younger brother, Shay, said: “As far back as I can re­mem­ber, Zac was al­ways some­one I looked up to.

“Through­out my life I have al­ways been re­ferred to and in­tro­duced to many as Zac’s lit­tle brother. This is some­thing I al­ways take great pride in, and just to be men­tioned in the same breath as some­one so funny, car­ing, charis­matic, lov­ing, gen­er­ous and gifted is an hon­our and a priv­i­lege.

“Grow­ing up to­gether, Zac was al­ways the more nat­u­rally tal­ented brother, things just came so much eas­ier to him than they did to me: sport, mu­sic, con­fi­dence, girls, even his care free at­ti­tude, lit­er­ally ev­ery­thing. I en­vied him so much for this; to me he was just cool.

“His unique phases and ex­pres­sions will stay with me for­ever and will be some­thing I carry for­ward through­out my life. It was over­whelm­ing to see his tran­si­tion from the boy that had left South Wales into the man that he had be­come in Aus­tralia. I will al­ways be proud of my brother Zac. Truly one of a kind.”

Dur­ing his in­quest at Pon­typridd Coroners Court, the court heard how Zac – a for­mer West Park Pri­mary School and Porth­cawl Com­pre­hen­sive pupil – had spent the evening with friends the day be­fore he died.

On Oc­to­ber 22, 2017, an Aus­tralian po­lice of­fi­cer at­tended an ad­dress in War­riewood, north of Syd­ney, after a re­port of an un­con­scious male.

Zac and his girl­friend, Danielle, had gone to friend Geraint Evans’ house for drinks be­fore things went trag­i­cally wrong. At around 6.30pm, the pair ar­rived and started to con­sume “large amounts of al­co­hol”, the in­quest heard. Zac also bought “party drugs” and crushed them into a pow­der be­fore snort­ing them, the court heard.

Geraint woke up around 5am to play with his daugh­ter. At 7am, he heard Danielle call his name in a “dis­tressed way”.

Zac was found ly­ing on his back on a mat­tress not breath­ing.

The emer­gency ser­vices were called and Geraint started try­ing to re­sus­ci­tate his friend. But Zac sadly passed away.

His cause of death was given as com­bined mul­tidrug (oxy­codone, ben­zo­di­azepines) and al­co­hol tox­i­c­ity.

Oxy­codone is a pain re­liever, and ben­zo­di­azepines are seda­tives, more com­monly used for sleep­ing prob­lems and anx­i­ety.

Coro­ner Gra­ham Hughes recorded a con­clu­sion of a al­co­hol/drug re­lated death.

Zac’s mother, Jane, paid trib­ute to her son, say­ing: “Zac was an amaz­ing per­son that would go above and be­yond to help peo­ple fam­ily, friends and strangers.

“One time be­fore he left Wales to go back to Oz I took him to buy ther­mal cloth­ing and food for him to take to the home­less.

“He gen­uinely had a heart of gold and he made peo­ple feel happy with his smile.

“We and all his fam­ily and friends are dev­as­tated to lose him.

“He is and al­ways will be a most won­der­ful son and brother.

“The sup­port shown through his JustGiv­ing page that was set up by his close neigh­bour when he passed away shows clearly how loved he was.”

She de­scribed how Zac and his girl­friend de­cided to travel to Aus­tralia on a one-year visa and spent months trav­el­ling to places like Ayres Rock, the Great Bar­rier Reef and the Whit­sun­day Is­lands.

They worked on a fruit­pick­ing farm and Zac then worked as a roofer be­fore they de­cided they wanted to stay in Aus­tralia.

She added: “I spoke to Zac nearly ev­ery day for the seven years he was away from home and we had a very open and hon­est re­la­tion­ship.

“Al­though Zac had a wild, mis­chievous side and did con­tinue to party a lot of week­ends, as most young peo­ple do, he also would also go through spells of not drink­ing, healthy eat­ing and vis­it­ing the gym.

“The night/morn­ing that Zac passed away I had spo­ken to Zac on Face­Time not long after he ar­rived at his friend’s – he was happy, we laughed and joked and he told me he couldn’t wait to see us all at Christ­mas.

“He had booked his flights to come home for his birth­day and Christ­mas”

Zac Tay­lor with his mum Jane

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