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Home   Gravesend   News   Article

Gravesend mum Karen Audino still sure legal high claimed son Jimmy Guichard's life after death verdict

05 December 2013
by Lizzie Massey
Jimmy Guichard in intensive care in hospital shortly before his death

Jimmy Guichard

A young man who died shortly after taking a legal high had no traces of illegal drugs in his system, it has emerged.

Jimmy Guichard was just 20 when he had a heart attack and collapsed in his bedroom in Mackenzie Way, Gravesend.

He was found lying next to a packet of herbal incense, believed to be from a legal high shop, and died two days later in Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford.

Post-mortem results came back to Jimmy's family last week.

According to the coroner's report, there were no traces of alcohol or illegal drugs - including cannabis, cocaine, morphine or acid - in his system that could have caused his death.

Jimmy - a keen sportsman who grew up in Hextable - regained consciousness after his heart attack, but a lack of oxygen made his brain swell.

This caused severe brain damage and is ultimately what killed him. There will not be an inquest into Jimmy's death.

His mother Karen Audino, 42, said: "Jimmy experienced severe hypertension which caused his heart attack, but why that happened we don't know.

"I believe whatever he took from the high street shop messed with his system and caused this.

"He was a fit, healthy lad and there was no reason for him to die."

The last family picture of Jimmy Guichard, with his sister Sam and mum Karen

The last family picture of Jimmy Guichard, with his sister Sam and mum Karen

It is believed Jimmy bought a legal high from one of two shops in Chatham - UK Skunkworks or Dark Times.

Since his death, the owner of Dark Times has taken all herbal incense off the shelves as a precaution.

Jimmy Guichard's grieving mother Karen Audino

Karen Audino

Karen, a fast-food chain manager, added: "I'm still completely numb from it all, the grief and shock still hasn't all come out.

"I'm just taking it one day at a time.

"It's much easier to cope during the day because I can visit people and get out and about, but I struggle at night so I've started working the night shifts just to keep busy."

The funeral of Jimmy Guichard, who died a day after apparently taking a legal high

The funeral of Jimmy Guichard, who died a day after apparently taking a legal high

Karen, with the help of Jimmy's sisters Samantha and Katie, has launched a Facebook campaign to highlight the dangers of legal highs, which can be found here.

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