A grief-stricken father has shared the final photo taken of his 19-year-old son as he lay dying in hospital after taking drugs for the first time.
Teenager Josh Edwards died at St James’ Hospital in Leeds in May 2017 after a bad reaction to ecstasy and cocaine.
Police said they believe it was the first time the medical engineer had ever taken drugs before, Wakefield Coroners’ Court heard.
Josh’s heartbroken dad Gareth Edwards released the hospital photo of his ‘dream son’ to raise awareness of just how devastating drugs can be.
He said he hopes the image will prevent another family going through the same heartache.
After Josh died police seized drugs and arrested six people who had also taken the illegal substances with Josh at a house in Bramley, Leeds.
But at his inquest, senior coroner Kevin McLoughlin said the six arrested were ‘too cowardly’ to fully cooperate with the police inquiry, putting their own interests before Josh’s family.
Detective Sergeant Lisa Watts said police believe the six people arrested ‘protected themselves’ rather than give police a full picture to investigate.
Recording a verdict of drug-related death, Mr McLoughlin said Josh’s death was a ‘monumental tragedy’.
The teenager’s mum Candace, 46, told the inquest: ‘He was up for work at 6am on a morning, he just wasn’t a drugs person.’
Speaking about her family’s ordeal after the hearing, Mrs Edwards said: ‘When I got to the hospital and they told me it was drugs I couldn’t believe it.
‘He didn’t deserve that tragic end, it was horrendous.’
She said Josh was family-oriented and hard working and there was no indication that he had ever experimented with drugs.
In statement read to the inquest, Gareth, 48, said: ‘Josh was a dream son and we are immensely proud of him.
‘After school he got an apprenticeship as a mechanical engineer and was thriving.’
Police were called to Victoria Park Avenue in Bramley at around 12pm, on May 14, 2017, after a member of the public spotted Josh having a fitting episode and falling down in the street.
Josh, who worked at Pudsey manufacturing company OMCO, was taken to St James’ Hospital where he suffered a heart attack in the A&E department.
He suffered a string of problems including internal bleeding and multiple organ failure and died just after 9am on May 15, seven days before his 20th birthday.
Coroner Mr McLoughlin said: ‘His body’s reaction to the poison involved has cost him his life.
‘It’s a monumental tragedy for his family.’
He added: ‘If you take ecstasy or cocaine you must recognise that it may cost you your life.’