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Teen dies from taking laughing gas at party

A SCHOOLBOY died after inhaling laughing gas with his friends, his devastated sister has revealed.

PROMISING art student Joseph Benett (17) suffered a cardiac arrest after taking the popular party drug on August 31.

The teenager fell into a coma but died last Thursday with his family at his bedside.

His grieving sister Camille (27) has warned others about the devastating effects of inhaling the gas.

She said: "He just never woke up. He had such terrible brain damage and his fits were getting worse. When he stopped breathing, my dad and I were holding his hand. I found it hard to leave him. As a big sister I felt a responsibility to look after my little brother."



Hurts

Joseph, who was from Hampstead, north London, was at a friend's house when he collapsed. Camille added: "I think having experienced how much this hurts, people should think about whether they are putting themselves in danger.

"You do need to think about what you are doing, not just for yourself but for the sake of the people who love you."

His head teacher Kenneth Durham said: "It is an absolute tragedy. His friends are terribly upset. He was very talented."

Nitrous oxide is becoming increasingly popular on the party scene.

A number of celebrities have been pictured inhaling the dangerous drug -- nicknamed hippy crack -- which can starve the brain of oxygen.

An inquest into tragic Joseph's death has been opened and adjourned.

hnews@herald.ie


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