A father has shared his grief over finding out the cause of his son’s unexpected death, taking to Facebook to warn others of the widely available ingredient that killed 21-year-old Lachlan Foote a day before his birthday.
After celebrating New Year’s Eve, Mr Foote arrived home and made a protein shake before messaging his friends complaining of the taste.
"I think my protein powder has gone off. Just made an anti hangover / workout shake and it tasted awful," he wrote just after 2am.
Hours later Lachlan passed out on the bathroom floor and never recovered.
The Foote family were grieving the loss of Lachlan while denying rumours that the aspiring musician’s sudden death was due to a drug overdose.
“I think the rumour about Lachlan's death probably started fairly innocently because it happened on New Year's Eve, people make assumptions,” Lachlan’s father, Nigel Foote, said.
On July 1 he addressed the rumours again in a social media post.
“Although we are still awaiting the Coroner's findings, the pathologist has officially confirmed that "Lachlan did not die of an illicit drug overdose". Lachlan wasn't drunk either – his blood/alcohol level was below .05,” the heartbroken father wrote.
On Sunday, Mr Foote announced on Facebook the family had finally received the corner’s report confirming the cause of death and hoped that it would serve as an end to the rumours.
“He died of ‘caffeine toxicity’,” Mr Foote wrote
“Lachlan came home after celebrating New Year’s Eve with his friends and made a protein shake, innocently adding too much Pure Caffeine Powder – a teaspoon is lethal,” he added.
Pure caffeine powder is widely available and sold as a dietary supplement, with one teaspoon equivalent to up to 50 cups of coffee.
Mr Foote believes that Lachlan may have received the caffeine powder from a friend and was “unaware of its potency”, stating on Facebook that he wanted to warn others who may also be unaware.
“We’re concerned that there might be other young people in his circle who bought or shared in this batch of pure caffeine powder,” he said.
Mr Foote described the death as “a tragic, innocent mistake” but said it was “scandalous” that the product was available in Australia.
“Please warn your friends, talk to your children and perhaps check your kitchen cupboards.
“Pure caffeine powder looks just like any other white powder but a heaped teaspoon of it will kill you,” he said, ending the post with a tribute to his late son.
“He lives on in our hearts, our photos and in the stars”.
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