A 13-year-old Georgia boy will never be the same after bullies allegedly pressured him to smoke a fentanyl-laced vape pen that caused a stroke and permanent brain damage, his mother told Fox News.
Zachary Corona, of Dalton, had to be rushed to the hospital after his 12-year-old sister found him unresponsive in a recliner in his room at 6 p.m. late last year.
“She thought he was joking around at first,” Lynda Amos told Fox & Friends. “Sometimes he would joke around with her, and she’ll try to wake him, and he won’t wake up and she tickles him and he’ll wake up and jump up and scare her.”
Amos also could not wake him and called 911, she said. Corona flatlined when he arrived at the hospital, but doctors were able to resuscitate him, the mother of five recalled.
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Zachary Corona, who suffered a stroke after bullies allegedly pressured him to smoke a fetanyl-laced vape, is shown in the hospital, left. On the right, he poses with his 12-year-old sister, Katie. (Courtesy of Lynda Amos )
When they snipped off his clothes, they found the vape in his underwear, which tested positive for phencyclidine (PCP) and marijuana, according to a police incident reported obtained by Fox News Digital.
Amos said the vape and her son’s blood also tested positive for fentanyl – a deadly drug that is 50 times stronger than heroin.
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He was transferred Jan. 1 to Children’s Hospital at Erlanger in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and the next day Amos contacted the police.
The Eastbrook Middle School student had been mercilessly bullied by a group of six boys, she told investigators.
“Lynda was sure [her son] had got the vape from school from these ‘bullies’ or someone else in an attempt to ‘fit in’ and stop being bullied,” the report says.
Zachary Corona, 13, shown in the hospital after a group of bullies allegedly pressured him to smoke a fentanyl-laced vape.
Corona remained in a medically-induced coma for three weeks and doctors told Amos he may never wake up.
However, he did – and Amos was overjoyed.
“I was happy and crying at the same time. It was like he was saying his first words again,” she said. “I love you,” he told his mom.
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However, Corona, who his mother says is a straight-A student, suffered permanent brain damage and has a long road to recovery. He was later transported to a rehabilitation facility.
“He’s starting to try to walk again,” she said. “But he still has no movement in his left arm and I don’t even think he’s going to get the movement back.” He also lost sight in his right eye.
Zachary Corona recovering in the hospital after he was allegedly pressured to smoke a fentanyl-laced vape pen that left him brain-damaged.
“This bullying has got to stop,” the heartbroken mother said. “It’s going too far and nothing is ever being done about it.”
A GoFundMe drive to help raise money for his medical care had collected $4,052 as of Friday afternoon.
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A spokeswoman for the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office said there’s an active investigation into the incident. The Whitfield County School District didn’t immediately return a request for comment.