'This is how I remember my beautiful son' - Leeds family's thanks as thousands share image after drug death tragedy
The family of a tragic teenager who died from drugs have thanked the thousands of people who shared an image of their son in a bid to save other lives from drugs.
Gareth Edwards, 48, of Bramley photographed his 19-year-old son Josh Edwards at St James’s Hospital with the intention of sharing the picture to raise awareness of the devastating consequences drugs can have.
He hopes it may just prevent another family going through the same heartache. Read the inquest proceedings here: Coroner records verdict of drug related death and blasts 'cowardly' people who refused to cooperate with police
After the appeal, thousands of people shared the story and the image online.
'This is how I remember Joshua - his beautiful smiling face'
Mum Candace Edwards said: "This is my son and how I remember him. Beautiful in every way. Thank you all for your supportive comments. For the negative people you don't even get close to hurting us. Kindness and love always prevails xx""
Cousin Jade Lauren Clark said: "This is my beautiful cousin. This is the Joshua we all know and love.
"This is the kind, gorgeous young lad who would always grace his family with a hug and a kiss on the cheek when he saw us.
"What our family had to go through that day, I wouldn’t wish that on anyone! I had to watch my auntie knelt down next to the bed with her head in his hands saying “don’t go” and then you have dicks who comment negative stuff when they have absolutely no idea.
"For all the people who know Joshua, we all know who he is and what a lad he was.â¤ï¸"
Lindsey Clark said: "This photo of Joshua's beautiful smiling face gets me through my days when I look at this. My beautiful beautiful nephew life is so bloody cruel and until the day I die you will always be in my heart xxxxxx"
Vicki Mason said: "This is my nephew. Our family doesn't want any other family to go through this x"
Hundreds of messages of support for the family poured in following the appeal.
Diane Morrisroe said: "So brave of his family to share this, I hope it has the desired effect."Denise Ball: "So sorry for the family and brave for sharing his photo hope it’s a warning to others"
Terry Gilligan: "Your entire family is very proud of you, Gareth and Kailey for continuing to make sure that Josh's amazing life counts for so much.....x"
Kirsty Rose: "Absolutely heartbreaking so sorry for your beautiful loss :( sending u all the love"
Joel Stead: "Candace so sorry for your tragic loss. No one deserves to lose a son. My heart is with your family."
Helen Oxley added: "What a tragedy. Every parent’s worst nightmare. Condolences to the family."