Belfast Telegraph

Image of Belsonic collapse boy on life support released as graphic drugs warning

By Aaron Tinney

The family of a young man who was hospitalised after collapsing at the Belsonic music festival in Belfast have released dramatic photographs of him, urging other young people not to take drugs.

Jamie Lindsay's family hope these harrowing images of their son lying unconscious in a hospital bed will shock Northern Ireland's youth into staying away from excessive drinking and illegal substances.

Jamie was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital from Belsonic at Belfast's Ormeau Park on Monday night.

Because the Co Down man had been using a fake ID at the festival, the wrong parents were told their son was on life support, as revealed by the Belfast Telegraph earlier this week.

Jamie's father posted the images on Facebook, with a lengthy appeal to other young people to be cautious.

The graphic images included one of Jamie on a ventilator, and another of him vomiting into a kidney dish.

Writing in the online post that has been shared more than 6,000 times, Simon Lindsay said his boy had made "the worst mistake he has ever made and almost paid for it with his life".

He went on to issue a "don't do drugs" message to other young people.

Mr Lindsay wrote: "On Monday night we received the most scary news ever about our son Jamie. Jamie went to Belsonic with his friends - but he made the worst mistake he has ever made and almost paid for it with his life. Jamie had been drinking and made a drunken decision that he now regrets. We are so angry with Jamie for what he done. We will not lie for him or condone what he did."

The distraught father said Jamie's friends called to say his son was "in trouble". As he was driving to Belsonic, a doctor from the RVH rang from Jamie's mobile phone to say he was on life support.

Because of the ID mix-up, Mr Lindsay and his partner had to wait until hospital staff verified they were his parents before they were allowed to see their boy.

"Jamie had used another boy's ID and we regret that the other boy's family received that awful, devastating news and we apologise to his parents for this. Jamie got this ID off a friend who bought it from the owner last year," Mr Lindsay claimed.

"When we got to the Royal Victoria Hospital, initially we couldn't get to see Jamie until it was proven he was Jamie and we were in fact his parents. We thought at the time that this delay was because we had lost Jamie.

"When we did get to his bedside we were shocked at the sight. Jamie was transferred to the City Hospital ICU on life support. Jamie miraculously recovered and has had the luckiest escape ever. Others have not been as lucky. We cannot thank enough the medical staff at both hospitals and the medics who attended to him at the concert."

Jamie has since come off life support and is now back at home with his family.

Mr Lindsay added: "Jamie is now recovering at home. He has a second chance at life and I hope he takes it with both hands. He will now face whatever consequences or punishments that may come his way."

The distraught father also hit out at a practice of selling IDs, which he claimed is rife across Northern Ireland.

"I know young kids are buying these IDs or 'renting' these for weekends. This has to stop. Next time it might not turn out so lucky as Jamie fortunately was. Make sure your kids are not carrying these IDs please, and also make sure your 18-year-olds are not 'losing' or 'renting' them out."

The concerned dad added: "1 - Don't take drugs - Simple - they kill you. One pill can kill. 2 - Don't drink to excess - you are in danger of making yourself ill and will also lead to bad decision-making. 3 - Stop carrying these IDs belonging to others. The implications of this are now so clear to us and the other family of the boy it belonged too."

He continued: "Don't think my kids won't do this - I thought that. It can happen to anyone at any time, unfortunately."

It is not known what age Jamie is, and his father did not respond to attempts to contact him yesterday.

A PSNI spokesman said of the incident that officers were first contacted at 8.15pm on Monday by a hospital worker following the admission of a male who had collapsed at the Belsonic music festival.

Police added that, earlier this week, they had arrested six youths aged between 14 and 19 at Belsonic for drugs, indecency and public order offences.

Chief Inspector Kirkpatrick commented: "That number should be viewed in the context of the 15,000 people who were there to enjoy the music."

Belsonic runs until June 30 and has been drawing crowds all week. It was headlined by Arcade Fire who opened the festival last Tuesday. The series of open-air gigs has also featured concerts by The 1975, Jess Glynne, Cream Classical and Martin Garrix.

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