A terrified mum has shared her son's near death experience after he burst his lung when he inhaled laughing gas at a music festival.
Cathy McCann, 44, has issued a warning after her son Alex Littler, 16, took nitrous oxide at Parklife Festival in Manchester.
The teen was rushed to hospital after he suffered from breathlessness and complained that his chest felt like "popping bubble wrap."
He was diagnosed with a ruptured and leaking lung as medics told him he was lucky to still be alive.
Cathy, from Ellesmere Port in Cheshire, explained her son was "petrified" and said he "did it because all his mates were doing it."
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"He’s said it’s the worst thing he could have done," she added.
"It upsets me thinking about it, it’s horrible. It could have been fatal. It could have killed him. His lung has got a hole in it.
"His friends are devastated, they’ve been on the phone constantly, putting posts on Snapchat saying they don’t want to see anyone doing balloons.
"I don’t think half of them knew the depths of what they can do. He’s been told by doctors, if he does it again, he’ll be back in hospital because he has a weak spot on his lungs now."
Initially, doctors warned Alex that he could need an operation to help remove the trapped air around his organs.
Fortunately, an oxygen mask that was left overnight did the job without the need for surgery, reports Metro.
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Alex has since admitted that he has used the drug before but says he will never use it again following his ordeal.
His mum added: "It’s a danger because if it hadn’t repaired itself it’s going to make a bigger hole and it would have been fatal.
"He would have ended up dead or paralysed or brain dead."
Cathy said her son wanted her to share his story to alert others about the life-threatening risks and said "it's happening under everyone's noses.
"No one knows the depth and consequences," she said. "Sixteen-year-olds are dying, people have messaged me saying their son died.
"He’s not in trouble because it’s been that much of an ordeal, he’s learnt a massive lesson so I didn’t need to say anything to him."
Parklife has been contacted for comment.
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