Abbotsford man 'lucky to be alive' after ecstasy reaction
A 24-year-old Abbotsford man says he is lucky to be alive after experiencing a bad reaction from ecstasy on March 16 and spending three days in a medically induced coma.
The man, whose name is not being released, issued a written statement today (Monday) through the Abbotsford Police Department. He and his parents have declined to speak publicly.
"I am a miracle. I was saved by the grace of God for a reason. I want my life and this experience to have a positive impact on the lives of others," he wrote.
Const. Ian MacDonald of the Abbotsford Police Department (APD) said the man, who lives with his parents, was in a room of the house alone on the evening of Friday, March 16, when he took some ecstasy just before midnight.
MacDonald would not say how much the man took or what form of the drug he used, but it was not the first time he had ingested the substance.
MacDonald described him as "a good kid from a good family" who had never been in trouble with police and was just getting back into the workforce.
In his written statement, the man said he took what he thought was a safe dose of ecstasy, but soon experienced a high that was "much more intense" than his previous experiences, and he began to panic.
He immediately thought of 17-year-old Cheryl McCormack and 20-year-old Tyler Miller – Abbotsford residents who died after taking ecstasy in separate incidents late last year and whose stories were made public.
He alerted his parents, who were sleeping, and asked to be taken to hospital, confessing to them that he had used ecstasy that night and on previous occasions.
"To his parents, this was news to them," MacDonald said.
The man walked into the emergency department but collapsed a few minutes later. He was placed in a medically induced coma, which is done when the body temperature spikes dangerously high and a patient must be immersed in ice.
The man began showing small signs of improvement after three days, and regained full consciousness on day four.
He was released from hospital one week after he had been admitted, with no signs of organ or brain damage – common side effects of those who survive an ecstasy overdose.
MacDonald said the man's immediate response to his health emergency made a difference in the outcome. Medical experts have previously indicated that the longer a person waits to be treated in such a situation, the less the chances of survival.
McCormack and Miller families are to be credited for sharing the stories about their loved ones' deaths because the information was foremost in the man's mind, MacDonald said.
The man said his story can be used as a valuable lesson about the dangers of drug use.
"With any dose of whatever you may think you are getting, you could very easily end up like others who took the risks I did," he said.