‘I will never understand why this drug is available’

 

JESSICA Clayton misses her big brother every day.

At 21 Michael Clayton lost his life after wearing a fentanyl patch given to him by a personal trainer. Michael had sore muscles after a gym workout.

Michael Clayton with his little sister Jessica.
Michael Clayton with his little sister Jessica.

"The pain of losing a child feels like a wrecking ball slamming through your life. Nothing is ever the same. Every day my daughter Jessica, who is now 10 is still heartbroken. This is the reality, the aftermath of this dangerous drug," Lisa Clayton, from the Gold Coast told The Courier-Mail.

She lost her son Michael in April 2015.

"I will never understand why this drug is still available to Queenslanders. It is a very strong painkiller designed for people post surgery or in palliative care. It should not be handed out to people by doctors," she said.

"My warning, from experience, is that you cannot expect to wake up if you go to sleep with one of those patches on your body," Lisa said.

Lisa Clayton with a photo of her late son Michael Clayton. Picture Mike Batterham
Lisa Clayton with a photo of her late son Michael Clayton. Picture Mike Batterham

Michael applied the patch before going to bed and was found unconscious the next morning. He was rushed to hospital and was dead within a month.

"It was the most shocking experience to lose a son who was fit and healthy so young, just out of the blue. All it would have taken was the removal of the patch. But he didn't know, he thought it was just something to relieve his pain," Lisa said.

The devastated mum calls on the TGA to remove the drug from public availability.

Michael Clayton overdosed on a fentanyl patch.
Michael Clayton overdosed on a fentanyl patch.

"People become addicted and then go underground to find the drug. It destroys lives. It certainly destroyed ours," she said.

"We move forward without Michael and I don't want any other family to go through the loss that we have been through," she said.