Mother’s pain at losing daughter after ecstasy overdose

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Sherie-Lea James, 15, took the drugs at a party in September, which caused her heart to fail (Picture: Masons)

A teenager who survived cancer as a baby died after taking a lethal ecstasy overdose. 

Sherie-Lea James, 15, took the drugs at a party in September which caused her heart to fail.

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The 15-year-old had a liver transplant at 20 months after being diagnosed with cancer, which doctors believe may have made her more vulnerable to the drugs.

Her mother, Sam James, 43, has now spoken of her loss and pleaded with other teens to stay away from drugs to stop this from happening.

She said: ‘I have lost my daughter and I will never get over that. If one good thing can come out of this I hope that kids think twice about taking drugs.

Sam James (43) from Basildon Essex who

Sam James, 43, has spoken of her grief at losing her daughter (Picture: Masons)

‘If it makes one person think before taking something then I suppose that’s something I can take from it.’

Sherie-Lea had spent the evening with a friend in Laindon, Essex, before they went to a 29-year-old man’s flat in South Ockendon.

Six other people were in the flat at the time and they were all older than the girls, according to Ms James.

She said: ‘Apparently she didn’t get there until 1.30am. She sent a Snapchat message at 1.45am where she pulled a face like “oh, where have I ended up”.

‘At the end of the day they are adults and she is a child. They shouldn’t have underage girls in their flat drinking or doing whatever.

‘She might have looked older but the moment she opened her mouth she had double train track braces and when she started talking it was obvious she was a child.’

At some point in the night, Sherie-Lea and her friend took a drug, believed to be ecstasy and overdosed.

While the other girl survived, Sherie-Lea could not be revived.

Collect - Sherie-Lea James with her mum Sam James. The grieving mother of a 15-year-old girl who beat a deadly cancer as a toddler has pleaded for teenagers not to dabble in drugs after her beloved daughter died from a suspected overdose. See MASONS story MNOVERDOSE. Sherie Lea James

Sherie-Lea James with her mum Sam James (Picture: Masons)

Ms James was woken up by police at around 5.30am, who took her to Basildon Hospital where doctors fought to save her daughter’s life.

She said: ‘We got to the hospital before Sherie-Lea because the ambulance had to pull over and revive her after she had a cardiac arrest inside.

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‘They came into the hospital and tried again with my watching and they kept trying and trying but nothing.

‘They broke her ribs trying, it was an awful sound to hear.’

But there was nothing doctors could do and Sherie-Lea was pronounced dead in the hospital.

Ms James added: ‘The police have told me they reckon she took four or five ecstasy tablets. I’m not being funny but someone who had never done that before isn’t going to do that.

Collect - Sherie-Lea James who died after taking a drug belived to be ecstasy. The grieving mother of a 15-year-old girl who beat a deadly cancer as a toddler has pleaded for teenagers not to dabble in drugs after her beloved daughter died from a suspected overdose. See MASONS story MNOVERDOSE. Sherie Lea James

Sherie-Lea is believed to have had four or five ecstasy tablets (Picture: Masons)

‘She was anti-drugs. She had started to drink but never much because she couldn’t because of her liver.’

A post-mortem was carried out on Sherie-Lea’s body but this proved inconclusive. A toxicology report is still being assembled.

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The single mum, who has three sons, is now hoping to raise £9,000 to pay for Sherie-Lea to have the ‘celebrity’ funeral she would have wanted.

A 19-year-old South Ockendon resident and a 29-year-old from London have been arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply drugs and released on bail.

To donate to her GoFundMe page, click here.