The impact of the death of a Co Cork teenager who took synthetic drugs will be shared by his sister with young people at similar risk.

Nicole Ryan’s 18-year-old brother, Alex, suffered irreversible brain damage and died last January.

He had taken a potent hallucinogenic stimulant, at a house party in the Greenmount area of Cork City.

Alex’s family, who live in Millstreet, donated his heart, liver and kidneys, saving four people’s lives.

Nicole, having spoken with the non-profit Foundation for a Drug Free World, yesterday shared her plan to travel to schools and colleges.

She wants to warn young people about the dangers of drug-use and “give kids the information they need to not make the same mistake my brother did”.

“I want to share, and show to people, not just here at home, but all over the world, the kind of effect my brother’s decision had,” Nicole says.

“Alex was not a bad person. He was a kind-hearted soul that would do anything for anyone. He made a bad decision and, in turn, paid for it with his life.

“I want to go out and share my story with others. I know there are people who have gone through the exact same circumstances and I want to give them a voice, share my story, so maybe they can share theirs.

“Share Alex’s story of how he was, his final moments, and how I live, now that he is no longer here.

“I want his story to be a warning to other people out there, especially young people who may consider taking drugs, be it synthetic or not.

“If I can as much as change one person’s mind with Alex’s story, then, for me, that would be enough.

“In his name and in his honour, I want to share his story and mine,” she added.

Nicole has set up a gofundme page to raise money for her project.

Any funds raised will be donated to the Irish Heart Foundation, the Irish Organ Donation, and the Foundation for a Drug Free World.

Yesterday was the second-month anniversary of the tragedy, and Nicole said she wants to honour her brother’s memory by preventing more deaths.

“He managed to touch and change so many lives,” Nicole says.

“I just want to do the same.”


The calendar for upcoming sales is filling up nicely as auctioneers adapt, says Des O’SullivanAntiques: No shortage of online opportunities to collect

More From The Irish Examiner