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Grieving mum starts anti legal high campaign after son's Gravesend death
A GRIEVING mother who believes her son was killed by a legal high in Gravesend has started a campaign in his memory.
Karen Audino wants legal highs banned after her son Jimmy Guichard, 20, died having taken one at home in Mackenzie Way on October 2.
The keen sportsman had his life support machine switched off at 11pm on October 3 and passed away in his mother’s arms.
He had smoked an unknown substance bought from one of two so-called ‘head’ shops in Chatham which Karen blames for the massive heart attack he then suffered.
The youngster’s brain began to swell after being deprived of oxygen when he was unconscious leaving him brain dead and his family with little choice but to pull the plug.
Karen had to make an 18-hour trip by boat to Darent Valley Hospital from her home in Letterkenny, Ireland, knowing this is what she would have to do.
Jimmy with sister Sammii (left) and mum Karen.
The 42-year-old and Jimmy’s sisters Sammii, 25, and Katie, 23, have started the Facebook group Legal High Awareness and Prevention and the campaign has already spread as far as Latvia.
The mother-of-three told News Shopper: "I have started this because I don’t want another family going through what we have.
"I don’t want another mum having to switch a machine off. Jimmy was my only son."
A shocking picture of Jimmy on life support is being posted around the Latvian capital Riga to warn of the dangers of legal highs and Karen is appearing on the Latvian equivalent of Newsnight to highlight the issue.
The takeaway manager has been lobbying MPs in the UK to push for a complete ban on legal highs, as is the case in Ireland.
A post-mortem examination of Jimmy’s body found no traces of illegal substances or alcohol and there will be no inquest into his death, leaving his family still searching for answers.
Karen said: "Pathologists know what’s in cannabis and they know what’s in cocaine so they know what to look for but with legal highs they don’t.
"I’m going to keep the pressure on to get the law changed."
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