A tree surgeon who "no one knew was an addict" was found in a customer toilet having overdosed on heroin.
Kevin Lane, 32, from Carmarthen, south west Wales, was put on life support after suffering a cardiac arrest and severe brain damage from a heroin overdose.
His family made the heartbreaking decision to turn off the machine 24 hours later.
Kevin's mum Pat Hudson and girlfriend Raychel Lewis are now determined to bring about change to the UK's drug laws.
In the same week the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed record high levels of drug deaths in England and Wales, Pat has called for drugs to be decriminalised, regulated and controlled, so more people like her son don't lose their lives.
Safe consumption rooms installed in town centres is another aim of Pat's as she believes it would reduce the risk of drug addicts dying.
Pat told Mirror Online : "We have a higher rate of drug deaths in this country, about twice as much as the European average.
"The most fundamental change we can make would be shifting drugs from being seen as a justice issue, over to the health and social service side of things.
"Problematic drug users often have a background of family breakdown, childhood abuse, poverty, deprivation, unemployment, homelessness.
"They are the key variables about whether someone's life will be dominated by drug use."
Kevin grew up in a loving home surrounded by siblings and two Cardiff University professors for parents, but there were signs that he could up struggling with addiction.
Kevin was adopted from an abusive home when he was 16-months-old.
Pat, a campaigner for drug reform charity Anyone's Child, explained he was a "disturbed kid" who never smiled and banged his head against walls as a toddler.
At school he was popular with the other pupils but struggled with ADHD, eventually leaving with no qualifications.
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Throughout his teenage years Kevin was a "high spirited" and occasionally naughty kid, who took up smoking cannabis at 15.
After becoming involved in minor criminal enterprises like breaking into an abandoned building to take a confiscated bike, he spent short stretches in prison for drug possession.
At some point during that time, possibly while inside, he started taking heroin.
Pat continued: "We have very stigmatised attitudes towards opioid abusers.
"To some degree because they are seen as marginalised people, they're homeless, feckless, they don't have jobs, there's a sort of social cleansing going on.
"Even in Kevin's worst moments he contributed to society. He held down a skilled job. He was very honest with it.
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"At first he thought he was controlling the situation."
Kevin told his family about his drug problems when he turned 28, worried his addiction was getting out of hand when he started craving a smoke before going to work.
Heroin did not stop him maintaining a successful career as a tree surgeon and budding artist.
His girlfriend Raychel said: "Kevin presented well, always dressed smart and smelt good.
"For the majority of the time he was able to hold down a 9-5 as a highly skilled tree surgeon, taking up job opportunities across the UK and overseas, was in good health and was physically strong.
"Nobody would have guessed he was an addict and nobody would have known to ask how I was coping with loving 'the addict'."
In 2017, four years after they started dating, Kevin's drug problems became too much for Raychel, who had developed severe anxiety.
She travelled to Manila later that year for a volunteering opportunity, the couple both saying they loved the other the day before she went.
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On December 12, 2017, she received a call explaining that Kevin was in intensive care.
Pat said: "He went to town at 9.30 on a Tuesday morning and went into Boots for a packet of clean needles.
"If you saw him you would not think he was dependant on drugs.
"He was handsome and together. He got his clean needles, obviously not intending to kill himself.
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"He went into M&S and locked the toilet door. No one could get to him.
"Someone waiting a long time raised the alarm.
"His heart had stopped by the time they found him. It was far too late."
Kevin, who had been under the care of drug treatment services for several years, had been trying to get clean at the time.
Because he had been actively trying to wean himself off the drug, he was probably unsure of how great his tolerance was, and accidentally took too much.
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Pat believes that if the state regulated the opioid market in the UK, users would be able to rely on a cleaner, more consistent and not-cut supply which would be far less dangerous.
It would also lead to a big reduction in rates of associated crimes.
Pat said: "I am angry at politicians who don't pick up the potato.
"It would be a vote winner in communities that need to get beyond the scourge of crime. Knife crime is powered by drugs.
"Safe consumption facilities could be provided, in towns where these young people can go, where there is a medical person on call in case things need reversing.
"As long as the problematic drug users can be see as people that are lost to society, that have nothing to offer, the problems will get worse.
"That is why the deaths are not treated in the way they deserve."
The issues of drug deaths and related problems continues to get worse in England and Wales.
For eight years in a row the number of drug caused fatalities has gone up, and stood at 4,393 in 2019.
More than half of those were linked to heroin and morphine, for the cases where the drug type was known.
Jane Slater, campaign manager for Anyone's Child, said: "The UK is the drug death capital of Europe.
"Every one of these deaths was a preventable tragedy that cost someone their brother, sister, parent or friend, leaving thousands more grieving.
"Current policy is not working and the government must do better to stop these tragedies occurring.
"We urgently need to control and regulate the market if we want to stop so many people dying."
Health Poverty Action is another organisation which is pushing for reform with the UK's drug laws.
Director Martin Drewry said: “The Government’s approach to drugs simply isn’t working.
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