A English man who did cocaine at a party went into a coma and almost died. Now, his mother is speaking out and warning others not to follow in his footsteps.
When Carl Ayres was 28, he experienced a life-altering stoke five days after doing cocaine on New Year’s Eve in 2014, the Daily Mail reports.
The once robust ex-marine went in to a coma, with doctors saying he would be left incapacitated. His life support machines were even due to be turned off at some point.
Fortunately, he endured, but is now incapable of talking or walking. His mother, Julie Ayres, 50, says she now has to wipe his behind.
Julie said she feels “broken” about her son’s condition and has posted a picture of him in the hospital to caution others contemplating the use of cocaine.
“It’s absolutely heartbreaking,” she said, according to the Daily Mail. “He was so active and full of life. He ran his own business. Now I wipe his bum.
"Some days I don’t want to get out of bed. But I always do. I always act cheerful around him.
"Then when I come out [from visiting him] I break down. I can’t stand to see how he is. Honestly, I don’t think he will get back to normal.”
Carl, who owns a digging company, did cocaine at a local bar in Hampshire, England, on New Year’s Eve in 2014. Four days later, the ex-marine went for a five-mile jog, which is thought to have provoked high blood pressure and cultivated a slow-moving clot to form.
The next morning, Carl collapsed at a client’s home. He was taken to the emergency room of a nearby hospital, where he was relocated to intensive care and stayed in a coma for four days.
When he finally regained consciousness, Carl’s family was told he probably had locked-in syndrome, which allows an individual to be cognizant and able to move their eyes, but the body and facial muscles are paralyzed.
He signaled to his nose, and a family member asked, “Did you take cocaine?” After conveying that he had done it, doctors conducted tests and found the drug in his system.
Doctors informed his family that the cocaine (and the substance it was cut with) had caused his stroke.
Carl was left without the ability to speak or walk and now relies on a wheelchair to move around.
He is now residing in a rehabilitation center in Southampton, undergoing physical therapy, where his mother visits him daily.
The family is currently trying to raise about $60,000 for a stem-cell treatment.
“Carl has given 110% for the last 10 month in his journey to recovery but has now reached the point where we need to look further, as there is no more that can be done here in the UK," the GoFundMe page reads. "So this is why we have set this page up as we are hoping to raise money for treatment abroad to help him get to the next step of his journey.”
So far, they have raised over $5,500.
A 2014 study revealed that cocaine use can severely increase the risk of strokes in young people, the Daily Mail reports.
“Cocaine is not only addictive, it can also lead to disability or death from stroke," said Dr. Yu-Ching Cheng, assistant professor of medicine at the University Of Maryland School of Medicine. "With few exceptions, we believe every young stroke patient should be screened for drug abuse at the time of hospital admission.
"Despite the strong stoke risk associated with acute cocaine use, in our study only about one-third of young stroke patients had toxicology screenings done during hospitalization. We think the percentage of cocaine use could be higher than we’ve reported.
"The study set out to understand what factors contribute to stroke risk in young adults. We found the stroke risk associated with acute cocaine use is much higher than some other stroke risk factors, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and smoking.”