The heartbroken sister of a Chesterfield teenager who died after taking ecstasy laced with unknown chemicals has paid tribute to her ‘fun and bubbly’ brother while issuing a drugs danger warning to other young adults.
James Yates, from Old Whittington, passed away in hospital after swallowing the lethal concoction, which caused him to suffer organ failure and internal bleeding, during a night out on Monday (July 24).
He was resuscitated three times as doctors battled to save his life, but he eventually died on Tuesday morning, surrounded by his distraught family. He was just 19.
Sister Natalie Taylor said that James was a ‘very vulnerable’ young adult who suffered from foetal alcohol spectrum disorder and gave into peer pressure when he was handed the drugs while under the influence of alcohol.
She said: “James was a very happy person who just wanted to have fun. He was very vulnerable due to his FASD, and very easily led.
“James’s passing doesn’t even feel real at all for any of us. All the family are in complete devastation.
None of his family and friends expected this to happen at all, not ever.”
Natalie, 27, said that if ‘just one person turns their lives around’, telling her brother’s story would ‘be worth it’.
“For anyone thinking about getting involved with drugs, please don’t,” Natalie added.
“James is proof that drugs can kill. He wasn’t a drug addict, it only takes one time.”
James, described as having a ‘heart of gold’, was a big animal lover who had completed a course in animal care.
A post put out by Natalie on social media, which shows James on life support moments before he died, has been shared thousands of times with more tributes pouring in for the ‘brave’ and ‘lovely’ teenager who ‘had his whole life ahead of him’.
Lee Hamlin said: “I watched this young lad grow up. I can’t describe how it makes me feel knowing he’s gone at such a young age.”
Heidi Hodgson said: “I sobbed reading this. It’s incredibly brave of you to have shared his story. My heart breaks for you all.”
Summer Parry said: “I’m still really struggling to believe it all and come to grips with it. RIP James, you will forever be missed.”