Author： EnglishTeacher 2021-07-23
The English teacher believed to be the first Briton to catch coronavirus was killed by a cocktail of illegal drugs including ecstasy and cannabis after 'never getting over lockdown in China', a coroner said today.
Connor Reed, 26, from Llandudno, North Wales, caught the virus while teaching English at a school in Wuhan in November 2019, and claimed he drank hot toddies to help him beat the illness.
After being found dead in his room at Bangor University in October, where he moved to study Chinese and linguistics, his heartbroken mother revealed he never got over the 'hardship' of contracting the virus after he was forced to spend over 20 weeks in a 'harsh' Chinese shutdown.
At an inquest in Caernarfon, coroner Kate Sutherland said Mr Reed was a user of illegal drugs and had taken fentanyl, ecstasy and cannabis and recorded his death as drug-related. He had suffered respiratory failure due to combined drug toxicity, the hearing was told.
On October 23 he and a flatmate had shared a bottle of Jack Daniel's whiskey and smoked cannabis. Mr Reed said he had taken two ecstasy tablets and used the dark web for drugs previously, the inquest heard.
Mr Reed pictured with his mother Hayley
Ms Sutherland said: 'I appreciate for members of Connor's family there may well be a number of unanswered questions. But I'm afraid any inquest can't answer all questions. The loss of any family member is extremely traumatic.
'I would like to pass on my sincere condolences to Connor's family.'
Writing in November, Mr Reed described his symptoms, initially putting the illness down to a bad flu.
'I feel dreadful. This is no longer just a cold. I ache all over, my head is thumping, my eyes are burning, my throat is constricted. The cold has travelled down to my chest and I have a hacking cough,' he wrote at the time.
He went on to describe how he made himself a 'hot toddy' to help ease his symptoms. 'I don't smoke and I hardly ever drink. But it's important for me to get over this cold quickly, so that I can stay healthy for work. For medicinal purposes only, I put a splash of whisky in my honey drink. I think it's called a 'hot toddy',' he wrote.
Mr Reed went to hospital after developing a chest infection, but went on to make a recovery from the illness. According to his mother Hayley, who lives in Brisbane, her son never got over the 'hardship' he endured after contracting the virus.
She said: 'Over the last six months he endured a lot of hardship in China contracting Covid and having over 20 weeks lockdown under strict conditions.
'He endured more lockdown than anyone we have even known - 16 weeks harsh lockdown in Wuhan, two weeks in Australia and a further three weeks in the UK.
'We are both broken-hearted that his adventures came to an end at Bangor University where he was studying for a degree in Chinese language with what looks like a tragic accident.'
Speaking of her son's ambitious nature, she said: 'To say Connor had a sense of adventure was an understatement.
'When he told us he was going to learn Chinese we didn't really believe him but he knuckled down and went on his own to China and in a few years was speaking fluent mandarin.'
In an online post after his death, Mrs Reed wrote: 'It brings me great sadness to announce our beautiful son Connor Reed has passed away in a tragic accident at Bangor University at the weekend.
'He will be so greatly missed by his brothers, family and friends. He had such a wonderful smile, enthusiasm and love for life.
'We are blessed to have you in our lives if only for a very short time. Rest in peace our darling.'