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Dublin: 5°C Tuesday 1 December 2020

'His eyes were rolling in his head and there was froth coming out of his mouth'

Anthony Downes (16) had to be hospitalised after drinking six cider cans and two naggins of vodka.

Anthony Downes (16) in Beaumont Hospital
Anthony Downes (16) in Beaumont Hospital
Image: Theresa Downes/Facebook

THE MOTHER OF a teenage boy admitted to hospital for binge drinking has told how she feared for her teenage son’s life after he fell into a coma.

Anthony Downes passed out after drinking six cider cans and two naggins of vodka on a night out in Dublin last month.

The 16-year-old collapsed on a street and caught hypothermia before his friends called an ambulance, the Daily Mirror first reported.

His mother, Wendy, told Today FM’s Anton Savage Show today that he only regained consciousness three to four hours after he was admitted to Beaumont Hospital.

“If Anthony’s friends hadn’t rang [for an ambulance] when they did, the hospital told us – if he had been left any longer – all of his organs would’ve just started shutting down and he could have died,” she said.

According to those who saw him, she said, he was “literally crawling around the muck” and “couldn’t get up”.

His eyes were rolling in his head and there was froth coming out of his mouth.

When he arrived in hospital, doctors had to insert tubes into his airways to allow him to breathe, she added.


Now, Wendy wants others to understand the importance of calling emergency services when they see someone in danger.

“Young people should be aware that if their friend is in trouble, it’s OK to ring an ambulance – and if you don’t want to ring an ambulance, ring a parent, ring a friend, ring somebody,” she said.

And Anthony, who says he has no recollection of the night, told Anton Savage that it was an experience he never wants to repeat.

“I’m going to make sure anyone I know doesn’t do anything like that when they’re drinking,” he said.

I’m definitely not going to do it again.

In a Facebook post after the incident, his sister Theresa also warned of the dangers of binge drinking, sharing a photo of her unconscious brother in a hospital bed.

“Please share this and show this to your sons, daughters, nieces and nephews or tell them this story so they can see what can happen and how easily it can happen and the importance of calling an ambulance if any of their friends go unconscious when drinking,” she wrote.

Read: Irish people’s binge drinking could increase our risk of cancer

Read: Bar fined after serving shot that caused teenage girl to have her stomach removed

About the author:

Catherine Healy

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