Hundreds pay tribute to "caring" Leeds teenager after tragic drug death
Hundreds of people have paid tribute to a Leeds teenager after his family shared a harrowing image of him to warn others of the dangers of drug use.
Gareth Edwards, 48, of Bramley photographed his 19-year-old son Josh at St James’s Hospital with the intention of sharing the picture to raise awareness of the devastating consequences drugs can have.
Mechanical engineer Josh had a fitting episode on a Leeds street after suffering a reaction to ecstasy and cocaine he had taken for what police believe was the first ever time, an inquest at Wakefield Coroner's Court heard.
Police seized drugs and arrested six other people who had taken drugs at a house in Bramley during the enquiry following Josh’s death in May 2017.
Recording a verdict of drug-related death, senior coroner Kevin McLoughlin said the six were “too cowardly” to fully cooperate with the police enquiry and had put their own interests before Josh’s family.
And now, hundreds of people have paid their respects to Josh and his family's bravery for sharing such a heart-wrenching image to highlight the dangers surrounding drug use.
Thousands have also shared the image on the YEP's Facebook page, while others have told of how they are using Josh's story to help educate their own children.
Nicki Jai used the story to help educate her child on the dangers of drug use. She said on the YEP's Facebook page: "Well my daughter is a teen and she has just been shown this picture and I've had a talk.
"I hope to god she never even tried it just once. Sorry for your loss but thank you for sharing."
Barbara Clayton wrote: "So sorry for your loss I hope other kids see this so their parents don't have to go through what you are going through xx"
Vicki Mason - Edwards commented: "This is my nephew. Our family doesn't want any other family to go through this x"
Janette Eyre said: "RIP Josh, you were a very funny, kind caring young man and you didn't deserve this. My thoughts go out to all his family.
"I hope you're all ok and hope today helped. Love and hugs to you all."
Patricia Ann Clarke wrote: "So very sorry to read about the tragic loss of your beautiful young son. I hope this post does help save lives your a very brave family to do this to try help others.
"Keeping you all in my thoughts n prayers XXX R.I.P Joshua xxx"
Angela Newell responded by repeating the families message, saying: "So sad if this picture saves just one life he hasn't died in vain xx"
Denise Ball said: "So sorry for the family and brave for sharing his photo hope it’s a warning to others."
Diane Morrisroe added: "So brave of his family to share this, I hope it has the desired effect."