Mum shares image of son who faced 1% chance of survival after taking £2 tablet laced with poison

Mum shares image of son who faced 1% chance of survival after taking £2 tablet laced with poison
Odi Hearty Coburn on life support after he was admitted to hospital. Pictures suuplied by his mother Grainne

The mother of a teenage boy who defied a 1% chance of survival diagnosis after taking drugs laced with rat poison, has shared pictures of him in an effort to deter youths from taking MDMA this party season.

Odhran (Odi) Hearty Coburn's temperature rocketed to 45 degrees and he went into multi-organ failure after taking a £2 MDMA or ecstasy tablet while at the Belsonic Concert in Belfast on June 25 last.

Toxicology reports at Belfast's Mater Hospital later showed that the tablet in Odi's system consisted of 78% rat poison.

Thankfully the 16-year old pulled through and is now back at school part time. His mother Grainne is now determined to spread awareness to other teenagers of the risks of taking drugs.

Grainne and her husband Alan, from Dundalk, Co Louth were celebrating a friend's wedding in London when the call of every parent's nightmare came through.

"Just before the first dance, we got a call to say Odi was in the Belfast Mater Hospital in resuscitation and to call them immediately," said the mum of three.

Odi pictured in hospital with his uncle Paul Coburn.
Odi pictured in hospital with his uncle Paul Coburn.

"Seemingly Odi had got himself to a paramedic at the concert and told them he didn't feel well, that he was a type one diabetic and had taken insulin 15 minutes beforehand.

"Within three minutes, he started seizing and convulsing. His temperature was 45 degrees and despite packing him in ice, it remained at 45 degrees for 39 hours.

"We couldn't get a flight home from London until the next morning so I was in hysterics at the airport all night while Alan was pacing the floors waiting for our hourly updates from the hospital which always told us that Odi wasn't likely to see the next hour and we probably wouldn't make it back in time.

"My 73-year-old mother Josephine had travelled to the hospital, but they wouldn't let her into intensive care because he was that critically ill."

When they finally reached the hospital the following morning, Odi had gone into multi-organ failure.

He was hooked up to so many machines which were the only things keeping him alive. He had nothing - no bowels, no kidneys, no liver, no lungs, no heart and no brain.

"There was no activity. It was our worst nightmare.

"At the time we didn't know what had happened but later we found out that Odi had either been given or had taken MDMA (or esctasy tablet) at the concert and it took 72 hours for toxicology to show that it contained 78% rat poison so our son didn't stand a hope in hell of making it."

Opened his eyes on the 34th day

A transfer to King's Hospital in London was ruled out when doctors deemed him too ill to survive the flight after he took a bad turn.

He was instead brought to St Vincent's Hospital in Dublin - a centre for excellence for the liver - as medics thought if they could just get that vital organ working again, the rest might follow.

"There was a vigil for Odi in Dundalk that night and we were watching it on social media. Just as it finished, doctors told us that he was being transferred to Dublin and at that moment, I felt I received my miracle," said Grainne.

For 33 days, Odi was given just a 1% chance of survival but on the 34th day, he opened his eyes.

"He tried to say something and just his expression told me that I had Odi back."

A recent picture of Odi with his mother Grainne.
A recent picture of Odi with his mother Grainne.

£2 'some price' to pay for a life

However he suffered another setback when diagnosed with an auto-immune disease and the family were further hit by tragedy with the death of Odie's grandmother Josephine on August 18.

"I was on bended knee praying for a miracle for months and I received it but as well, God took the backbone of my family instead."

Odi is still going to rehabilitation and is without the use of his left arm and short term memory, which is why he has been unable to tell Grainne what happened at the concert.

"I did ask him about what happened that night but he had cerebral oedema and has very little memory. We might never know," she said.

Grainne is now determined to show the harsh realities of what drugs can do by visiting post-primary schools and showing students the shocking images of Odi hooked up to life support machines.

"I'm extremely grateful of my miracle when I know other parents had to bury their children last summer because of MDMA," she said.

"If there's anything I want from this is to create more awareness of how available these drugs are and the damage they can do. If, by sharing these pictures, it will stop even one other child from taking MDMA or any other drug, it will be worth it.

"The PSNI in Belfast told us that these tablets were being sold for as little as £2 each at concerts. That's some price to pay for a life."


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