Jordan Blackburn coma photo to raise drugs awareness

Jordan Blackburn in hospital Image copyright Alison Turnbull
Image caption Jordan Blackburn spent three nights in hospital

A young man treated in hospital after taking drugs at a music festival has released a photo of himself in an induced coma to warn others.

Jordan Blackburn fell ill following "substance abuse" at Kendal Calling on 31 July. His friend Christian Pay died.

The group of friends are believed to have taken at least three different types of tablet at the event.

Mr Blackburn, 20, has shared the photo online to highlight the "devastating" impact of taking unknown substances.

He said: "I don't have much recollection, I think because it was such a traumatic event. It was really awful.

"I think at festivals especially, teenagers just want to have a good time with all their friends and they initially forget the dangers they can put themselves in by doing something stupid like we did."


"You never realise until it's too late. You never think at that moment it is ever going to happen to you, but unfortunately you learn the hard way.

"You can never change the past, but you can always change the future. It's just trying to make a positive thing out of something really really negative," he said.

His mother, Alison Turnbull, said he wanted to stop other people making his mistake.

She said: "I thought my world was about to end, I really did. I knew about Christian and I just thought, 'this is it', I just thought we'd lost him.

"He just wants to raise awareness. He was laying in his hospital bed and he just looked and he said, 'I've been given a second chance at life, haven't I?' and I said, 'yes you have'.

"Physically he's fine. He's still really tired; his body has been through quite a trauma. Mentally he's coping OK, but I think he's got what I would term as survivor's guilt."

Image copyright Cumbria Police
Image caption Christian Pay was pronounced dead after being admitted to the Cumberland Infirmary

Mr Blackburn, from Haverigg, Cumbria, spent three nights in the Cumberland Infirmary.

Mr Pay, 18, of Millom, was pronounced dead at hospital. He was described by his family as a "fun guy" with "enough personality for everyone".

"He was a great guy. He was very small, he had the stature of a small person but the heart of a lion.

"He was just an amazing person, he always had a smile on his face," Mr Blackburn said.

In total 14 people were treated in hospital after falling ill at the event.

Cumbria Police said four people arrested on suspicion of possession of drugs with intent to supply were on bail.

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