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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Madeleine Patrick & Benedict Tetzlaff-Deas

Mum says 'straight-A' son left brain damaged after bullies made him smoke FENTANYL vape

A mum claims her 'straight-A' student son has been left permanently brain damaged after bullies forced him to smoke a vape pen laced with deadly fentanyl.

Lynda Amos, from Georgia in the US, said her 13-year-old Zach Corona will "never be the same again after ingesting the dangerous substance.

He was rushed into casualty on January 1 after being found unconscious by 12-year-old sister Katie Amos, who thought at first that he was playing a practical joke.

Zach flatlined moments after arrival at Children's Hospital at Erlanger, Tennessee, US, and medics raced against time to resuscitate him before placing him on life support.

Doctors later confirmed he had suffered a stroke.

Lynda had 'no idea' why her son had been left fighting for his life - until hospital staff cut off his clothes to find a vape pen laced with the opioid fentanyl along with marijuana.

Zach Corona, 13, has been left brain damaged after ingesting a vape laced with fentanyl (Kennedy News/Zachary Corona)
Zach flatlined moments after arrival at Children's Hospital at Erlanger, Tennessee (Kennedy News/Zachary Corona)

After waking from the coma over two weeks later, the 13-year-old claimed that he had been given the vape by a group of children, who made him smoke it in front of them.

Zach says that the group of eight boys and a girl said that they would 'beat him up' if he didn't hide the laced vape pen for them.

She says he believed that the bullies 'were his friends' - despite the fact that they had been 'slapping him in the face' and calling him names for several months.

Doctors placed the teen on life support and later confirmed he had suffered a stroke (Kennedy News/Zachary Corona)
Stay-at-home mum Lynda says she has been told the straight-A student will 'never be the same again' due to brain damage (Kennedy News/Zachary Corona)

Stay-at-home mum Lynda claims she was 'terrified' for her son's life - and revealed she had been told the once straight-A student will "never be the same again" due to damage on the right-hand-side of his brain.

Recalling the ordeal, Lynda, from Dalton, Georgia, US, said: "It was terrifying. I was praying to God to let my son live, to bring him back.

"He wasn't responding to anything, and then they told me they were going to lose him if I didn't sign a paper to put him on ECMO.
"I said, do anything you can to bring him back. Don't let him die.

"Then he was in a coma for two and a half weeks. They didn't think he was ever going to come out of it.

Lynda says she was 'angry' after her son told her he was forced to smoke the dangerous vape by bullies (Kennedy News/Zachary Corona)

"I didn't know he had the vape because he had it hidden in his underwear. The boys said they'd beat him up, so he took it out of fear.

"I was feeling hatred. I was angry about who could have done this to him.

"He told me that he's confused about why the kids have done this to him, because he said they were his friends.

Zach is now seeing a psychiatrist and a counsellor as he recovers from the lasting effects of his stroke.

His mother said the psychiatrist had told him the children were "never your friends to begin with", as real friends "would never do anything to try and hurt you and kill you".

Fentanyl is 50 times more lethal than heroin, and the opioid is often used as a cheap substitute.

Enough fentanyl was seized in the US in 2022 to kill every single American citizen, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

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