A 14-year-old boy spent ten days fighting for his life over Christmas after being dared to take drugs on Snapchat as part of a dangerous social media game. Lennon McKay from Dundee has now described his ordeal.
In an interview with Evening Telegraph, McKay described the "mistake" of taking a red and white pill in the early hours of 21 December after an all-night social media chat with friends and other local children.
The pill he took rendered him unconscious within half an hour. Over the next two days his family was told on multiple occasions to prepare for the worst.
"I made a mistake. I took the tablet with no idea of what lay ahead. I never meant for all this to happen," McKay said.
"I haven't said this before but I had taken the capsules with friends previously. Nothing had happened to any of us, so we just carried on. I took the capsules because everyone else was doing it. I don't really know why I took them just that others were so I did too.
"They gave me a buzz. I don't suppose I stopped to think about what could happen."
McKay, who admits to buying the pills on a lunch break at school, was unconscious for ten days at the intensive care unit at Ninewells Hospital. He woke up on New Year's Eve.
McKay's mother Stacylee McCarron said: "The kids are on social media through the night and use Snapchat to challenge, brag and prove to each other that they are taking the drugs. As parents you try to monitor what your kids are doing as much as possible but you can't be on at them all day and all night.
"We've gone through hell, but at least Lennon is still here. This has totally changed him. Lennon was always a rebel, a Jack-the-lad. Now he is so withdrawn and quiet and has completely lost his spark - hopefully with time he will get back to being himself."
Lennon has vowed never to go near drugs again. "There's no way. All my friends have also vowed they will never touch drugs. What has happened to me has really scared all of them. I know it's changed me.
"This is the worst thing that will ever happen to me and I don't yet know how I'm going to come back from this."
The ordeal has prompted the McKays to launch an anti-drugs campaign called Hugs Not Drugs.
"This has been a terrible time for our family," Lennon's aunt Ashley Moodie said. "We want to do everything we can to stop other kids in Dundee taking drugs. Lennon wasn't the first this happened to and he definitely won't be the last — but we can't sit back and do nothing.
"We are an incredibly strong family and are there for each other. We nearly lost Lennon — that's the worst thing that can happen, sitting waiting for a child to die. Through some miracle, Lennon survived and we are so grateful. Now we want to stop this happening to others.
"In the months to come, I'd really like to go into schools with Lennon and tell his story."