Mum of girl, 16, who died after sniffing deodorant describes walking in on her daughter lying face down in her bedroom
A MUM who walked in and found her dead daughter lying face down has said that every day is a “nightmare”.
Anne Ryan found her 16-year-old Brooke dead in her bedroom with a spray can of deodorant and a tea towel underneath her at their home in New South Wales, Australia.
The teenager, who was a talented athlete and a bright student had apparently been sniffing aerosols, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.
Inhalant abuse is a dangerous trend that public health experts warn is on the rise among children and teens.
Anne – who is an assistant principal – and her daughter had been out all morning on February 3 to give Brooke some driving practice.
Brooke was due to go to Mildura that night for a weekend away before starting year 11 the following week.
A heartbroken Anne said: “I wake up, I think of her, I go to sleep and think of her, and you wish, you wish [you could bring her back], but you just can’t.
“Every day is a nightmare.”
After her death, the teen leaves behind her mother Anne, her father Deon who manages the sewage plant, three older brothers, her boyfriend and a wide circle of friends.
She planned to study Advanced English and aspired to be a lawyer, physiotherapist, or beautician.
However, Brooke had struggled with anxiety, especially during the pandemic, but had lots of support and was determined to beat it.
“She was a beautiful girl with a heart of gold, who’s just so sorely missed, and would be absolutely devastated to know the negative impact she’s had on so many people from her death,” Anne added.
The Coroner’s report is yet to be handed down but Anne believes it was sudden sniffing death syndrome, a known potential side-effect of using inhalants.
Brooke’s body was covered in bruises, suggesting she had a heart attack.
The mum had no idea her daughter was using inhalants, and she is sharing her story to warn other parents about the dangers.
Dr Ingrid Berling, clinical toxicologist at the NSW Poisons Information Centre, has found alarming evidence of an upswing in inhalant use among young people and children.
Berling found calls to the NSW Poisons Information Centre about inhalant usage nearly doubled between 2017 and 2020.
The toxicologist said the most severe potential outcome from inhalants was sudden sniffing death syndrome – how Brooke died.
While this is rare it could happen to anyone at any time, irrespective of their frequency of usage.
Other negative effects can include reduced consciousness, seizures, nausea and vomiting. Persistent use can cause brain damage.