The mother of a teenager who was found dead in her bedroom clutching a bottle of deodorant has spoken out about the dangers of inhalant abuse.
Brooke Ryan, 16, was discovered by her mother Anne at their home in New South Wales, Australia three months ago.
To mark Mother’s Day in the country, Anne wanted to warn other parents about the deadly activity which took the life of her “effervescent” daughter.
Brooke was found by mother Anne
On 3 February, 16-year-old Brooke woke up as normal, with her and her mother using their morning to practice for her driving test.
However, later that evening, the teenager, who was due to start Year 11 the following week, was found lying face down in her bedroom by Anne.
A used tin of deodorant and a teatowel, which she was believed to be breathing in the toxic fumes in from, was found lying underneath Brooke’s body.
Anne said that she had no idea her daughter had been abusing inhalants.
‘Every day is a nightmare’
The devastated mother spoke of her heartbreak in losing her daughter to Sydney Morning Herald, saying that the keen athlete had suffered from anxiety during the Covid-19 pandemic.
She said: “I wake up, I think of her, I go to sleep and think of her.
“Every day is a nightmare.
“She was a beautiful girl with a heart of gold, who’s just so sorely missed, and would be absolutely devastated to know the negative impact she’s had on so many people from her death.”
While the coroners have not yet officially ruled on what Brooke died from, Anne believes that her daughter died from sudden sniffing death syndrome.
Her body was found covered in bruises, suggesting that the 16-year-old may have died from cardiac arrest.
Deadly warning of ‘chroming’
The abuse of substances such as deodorants and other aerosol products is often referred to as ‘chroming’, ‘huffing’ or ‘sniffing’.
The dangerous activity has many signs which can be picked up on including consistant headaches, going through a large amount of deodorant and white spots on towels.
Chroming has bencome such an issue in Queensland, Australia that many major shops have chosen to only sell deodorant and aerosol products from behind locked cabinets.
However, Anne has urged for those seeling these products to go further in preventing deaths in the future.
The mother has campaigned for manufacturers to label cans with the dangers of ‘huffing’ the product, while also encouraging in-school education about the deadly side effects of abusing such products.