Mother Posts Disturbing Image Of Son As Warning For Rx Drug Use
This is the shocking image a north Belfast mother has said she hopes no other parent ever has to see, as she took a picture of her son on life support after he took prescription drugs.
Callum Maddison-Shaw (22) was found collapsed on Saturday at the bottom of the stairs in his Tiger’s Bay home after taking Xanax. The drug is widely prescribed in the US to treat severe anxiety or panic disorder and is not readily available in the UK.
However, people can get hold of it through private prescriptions and the internet.
Callum’s brother found him and he was taken to hospital where he ended up on life support for two days.
His mum Angela Maddison Hutchinson shared the harrowing image of him in the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast in a bid to dissuade others from using the drug – and to show the consequences.
She told the Belfast Telegraph: “It needs to be out there because of the drugs he was taking. It is being sold in the area and that’s where he ended up, through that.”
Angela said her son had taken ill once before when using the same drug – but this time he nearly died.
“The first time he took them he was bad for a couple of days but nothing like he is in that picture. This is the second time he has used Xanax,” she said.
“It took 40 minutes for the ambulance to get here. They worked with him out the front and when they got him to hospital he wasn’t breathing. He was on life support until Monday afternoon.”
Angela said she can’t describe the relief she felt when medical staff took the tube out and Callum breathed on his own and then began talking to her. “I’m still in shock. I don’t know how I’m feeling – I’m physically and mentally drained. The doctor said he was breathing on his own and it’s fantastic. I was actually so scared when they were taking him off the machine because it was going into the unknown
“I didn’t want them to tell me he wasn’t breathing on his own – but it was like a million times better than anything you can imagine in the world.”
Angela said her prayers were answered as she maintained a bedside vigil at her son’s side over the past two days. “He is one of the lucky ones – the next wee lad might not be so lucky.”
Angela believes the tablet Callum took is part of a “bad batch”.
“I don’t know much about it, just what I’m hearing and so obviously I want kids out there to know that it can kill.”
Callum discharged himself from hospital at 4pm on Monday, but Angela says she would have preferred him to stay in hospital for further observation.
She said it is only “day one” and at the minute they are focusing on getting Callum well again before they start talking about the future and any further involvement with drugs.
“It’s early days to be saying that at the minute, we want to get his head in the right state before we have chats with him.”
In a final warning Angela said: “God was on our side. And I don’t want another mother to have to be sitting with a picture like that and maybe God not being on their side.”