'Drugs stole my brother and my dreams' - sister of teen who died in Cork
The sister of a teen who died after taking the synthetic drug 'N-bomb' has vowed to travel the country warning others of the dangers of drug use.
Heartbroken Nicole Ryan said the tragic death of her brother Alex (18) had robbed her of "her hope and dreams".
Alex was one of six partygoers hospitalised after taking the hallucinogenic drug at a house party in Cork city in January.
After falling ill, he was taken to Cork University Hospital but sadly passed away several days later.
Nicole now plans to travel to schools around the country to "give kids the information they need to not make the same mistake my brother did".
"When he died, a lot of my hopes and dreams died with him," she told RTÉ's 'The Ryan Tubridy Show'. "I know he's dead, I know he's not there - he's never coming back, that's the reality of it.
"The reality of it will hit me soon… but by taking on this journey it will help me cope and deal with it."
The young woman said seeing her brother in the intensive care unit had broken her heart.
"When I finally got in to see him, he was just lying in the bed... he had tubes and everything coming out of his mouth...it was shocking, the severity of it. We never lost hope, hope was all we had. [But] we were watching him become unstable right in front of our eyes."
Alex's family made the decision to donate his heart, liver and kidneys, saving four people's lives.
"Even talking about it, it brings back all the feelings and it triggers anxiety. I have pretty bad panic attacks even talking about it sometimes," said Nicole. "This is not a step for me, it's not even a leap, it's like jumping off the deep end headfirst without knowing how to swim."
She now wants to face her fears and share Alex's story so she could receive "a little bit of peace and little bit of closure".
"Alex was not a bad person. He was a kind-hearted soul... He made a bad decision and in turn paid for it with his life."
Independent.ie Comments Facility
INM has taken the decision to remove the commenting facility on its online platform Independent.ie to minimise the legal risk to our business that arises from Ireland's draconian libel awards system.
We continue to look forward to receiving comments through direct email contact or via social media, some of which may still be featured on the website Independent.ie