A mom claims her ‘straight-A’ schoolboy son has been left brain damaged after bullies forced him to smoke a vape — that turned out to be laced with deadly fentanyl.
Lynda Amos says son Zach Corona, both from Dalton, Georgia, will ‘never be the same again’ as she claims the vape, which was hidden in his underwear, caused a stroke due to being laced with the drug, which is up to 50 times stronger than heroin.
The mom-of-five, 45, was shocked upon discovering her 13-year-old boy passed out on their living room recliner at 6pm on January 1 after complaining of chest pains.
Zach was found unconscious by 12-year-old sister Katie Amos, who first thought that her brother was ‘playing’ until she tried to tickle him and he was unresponsive.
Lynda quickly called an ambulance and Zach reached Children’s Hospital at Erlanger, Tennessee, half an hour later — where he flatlined minutes after arrival.
Pictured: Zach Corona, 13, on life support after he was poisoned by the opioid fentanyl
Pictured: Zach Corona in the hospital with his mom who says her son will ‘never be the same again’ alongside the vape that was laced with fentanyl which left him in a coma for two weeks
Doctors confirmed that Zach fell victim to a stroke and, after being resuscitated, he was put on life support.
Lynda had ‘no idea’ why her son had been left fighting for his life — until doctors cut off his clothes to find a vape pen laced with deadly opioid fentanyl, along with marijuana.
Pictured: Zach Corona, 13, on life support
After waking from the coma over two weeks later, the 13-year-old claimed that he had been given the vape by a group of children, who made him smoke it in front of him.
Zach says that the group of eight boys and a girl said they would ‘beat him up’ if he didn’t hide the laced vape pen for them.
Zach believed that the bullies ‘were his friends’ — despite the fact that they had been ‘slapping him in the face’ and calling him names for several months.
Stay-at-home mom Lynda claims she was ‘terrified’ for her son’s life — and that the once straight-A student will ‘never be the same again’ due to damage on the right-hand-side of his brain.
Lynda said: ‘Zach sometimes tricks his sister and acts like he’s asleep, then when she bends down to tickle him, he jumps up and scares her.
‘She thought he was playing. She started tickling him and there was no response.
‘I thought he was joking around too. [Then] when I picked up his arm, it just fell down. That’s when I knew something was wrong.
‘The ambulance asked if he’d ingested anything and I said no, there’s nothing in the house for him to ingest. I had no idea what was happening.
‘It was terrifying. I was praying to God to let my son live, to bring him back.
‘He wasn’t responding to anything, and then they told me they were going to lose him if I didn’t sign a paper to put him on ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation).
Zach was found unconscious by 12-year-old sister Katie Amos, who first thought that her brother was ‘playing’ until she tried to tickle him and he was unresponsive
‘I said, do anything you can to bring him back. Don’t let him die.
‘Then he was in a coma for two and a half weeks. They didn’t think he was ever going to come out of it.
‘I didn’t know he had the vape because he had it hidden in his underwear. The boys said they’d beat him up, so he took it out of fear.
After waking from his coma, Zach was taken to Children’s Healthcare in Atlanta, Georgia, US, where he was provided with speech, physical and occupational therapies
‘I was feeling hatred. I was angry about who could have done this to him.
‘He told me that he’s confused about why the kids have done this to him, because he said they were his friends.
‘They’d been slapping him in the face and calling him names.
‘He’s seeing a psychiatrist now and a counsellor.
‘The psychiatrist even said to him, “you know they were never your friends to begin with. Your friends would never do anything to try and hurt you and kill you”.
‘[Doctors] told me that he would never be the same boy that he was. He was a straight A student.’
After waking from his coma, Zach was taken to Children’s Healthcare in Atlanta, Georgia, where he was provided with speech, physical and occupational therapies.
Zach stayed at Children’s Healthcare in Atlanta until February 21, and is now undergoing outpatient treatment
Zach stayed at Children’s Healthcare in Atlanta until February 21, and is now undergoing outpatient treatment.
As a result of the damage to the right side of his brain, Zach has experienced seizures and has lost both sight in his right eye, and function of his left arm.
The traumatized teenager is currently using a wheelchair due to problems with balance, and has needed to re-learn how to do basic tasks such as count and speak.
Although Lynda is hopeful that her son’s condition will improve, doctors have suggested that it is unlikely that Zach will regain full use of his left arm.
The mom is now trying to raise funds to cover medical bills, and is advocating for parents to be more proactive when it comes to bullying, as she claims that her son’s survival was ‘a miracle’.
Although Lynda is hopeful that her son’s condition will improve, doctors have suggested that it is unlikely that Zach will regain full use of his left arm
Lynda said: ‘It was a miracle that my son came back. He was dead. My son died.
‘Because of the severity of the stroke, it damaged the right side of his brain, and it’s permanently damaged. It will never come back.
‘He has to be in a wheelchair because he can’t walk very well. It made him go blind in his right eye. They messed my son up for life.
Pictured: Zach and his sister, Katie, all smiles during a day out at an amusement park
‘These kids are out there, running around, living their lives the way they want to.
‘They don’t have anything wrong with them, meanwhile my son’s fighting for his life. It isn’t right.
‘I’m hoping it will get better in the future, but doctors are saying that they don’t think he’ll get the movement back in his left arm.
‘He’s still upset about it, and still confused.
‘These parents need to be careful and listen to their kids. If they say they’re being bullied, the parents need to do something about it.
‘There isn’t any telling how many other people those kids have done that to — and if they hurt another child, they might not come back like my son did.’
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