THE grieving mother of a boy whose sudden death was possibly linked to the use of nitrous oxide has called for a national campaign to highlight the dangers of the drug.

More than a year after the death of 18-year-old Rory Wai, from Wivenhoe, an inquest ruled the “intelligent, inquisitive and kind” teenager had died as a result of an accident likely related to drug use.

Pathologist Dr Shaobin Wu said Rory’s lungs had suffered from a lack of oxygen and his kidneys showed signs of renal failure.

Nitrous oxide use was cited as a common cause of sudden death in such cases.

Sally hopes Rory’s death will act as a warning to youngsters who see inhaling nitrous oxide, otherwise known as laughing gas, as a safe recreational activity.

She refers to an article in the Guardian last year, which quotes health experts including Dr Chris Moulton, vice-president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine – all of whom were worried about the increasing use and ease of access to nitrous oxide.

Dr Moulton told the newspaper: “When administered by a healthcare professional it is an extremely safe drug, but recreational use may be dangerous.

“The delivery method can be especially dangerous because the gas is under such high pressure that direct inhalation may cause damage to the throat and lungs.”

Sally adds: “Really there should be a national campaign to try and make kids aware of the dangers.

“If Rory’s death acts as a warning to other people and it saves one kid’s life, it would never be worth it, but it would be more acceptable to some degree.”

In Rory’s case, an enormously promising life ended all at once.

His A-Level results arrived after his death, showing Rory, who had enjoyed playing rugby and working out at the gym, had achieved top grades in Maths, Biology and Physics.

Sally said: “Over the last year I was aware of him going off to university, so we’d watch his every move, not realising that actually we were to lose him completely.

“I was preparing to lose him to university, I wasn’t prepared for this.

“After someone dies it just seems surreal, you just can’t believe it.”