Inquest: British father died after consuming fentanyl at Disney World

Inquest: British father died after consuming fentanyl at Disney World

An inquest heard that a British father died during a family vacation to Disney World in Florida after ingesting the synthetic opioid fentanyl.

In May 2022, Philip Weybourne, a resident of West Malling, Kent, became suddenly ill while on vacation with his wife and young son in the United States.

Director of an international IT company, the 40-year-old collapsed and died after visiting a bar at the Yacht Club hotel in Epcot.

An inquest held at Maidstone County Hall revealed that despite being rushed to the hospital, his condition rapidly deteriorated and he could not be saved.

A postmortem blood test revealed that he had fatal levels of fentanyl in his system, a potent synthetic opioid comparable to morphine that only requires two milligrams to be potentially lethal.

Since 1999, it is believed that the drug that killed Prince has been responsible for the deaths of nearly one million people in the United States.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration of the United States, fentanyl is the most lethal drug threat our nation has ever faced. No community is immune to this toxin.

In a statement read at the hearing, his wife Dorlyn Weybourne stated, “On May 20, 2022, we began our vacation at Disneyland in Orlando, Florida.

On May 23, we awoke late and did not visit any amusement parks.

We made a reservation at the Boat House, a seafood restaurant at Disney Springs that also offers tours in vintage amphibious vehicles.

My son and I had been shopping before meeting Philip at the Boat House at 1 p.m.

Her statement continued, ‘We had the best lunch and drank champagne as if we were still living in Dubai.

Following an amphibious vehicle ride, we returned to the hotel at 5.30 p.m. to conclude the day.

Mrs. Weybourne explained that her husband, the Middle East director of global IT support company Excis Compliance Limited, wanted to continue drinking and went to the Yacht Club hotel on Epcot Resorts Boulevard by himself.

Why is fentanyl so dangerous, and what is it?

Fentanyl was initially developed in Belgium in the 1950s as a painkiller for cancer patients.

Due to its high potency, it has gained popularity among recreational drug users.

The number of fatal overdoses caused by synthetic opioids such as fentanyl increased from nearly 10,000 in 2015 to nearly 20,000 in 2016, surpassing those caused by traditional opioid painkillers and heroin for the first time.

And more than 72,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2017 – a record driven by fentanyl.

It is frequently added to heroin because its biological effects are identical to those of heroin. US officials estimate that fentanyl is up to fifty times more potent than heroin.

In the United States, fentanyl is classified as a schedule II substance, indicating it has some medical applications but a high potential for abuse and the ability to induce psychological and physical dependence.

After showering, he went to the bar.

Two hours later, Mrs. Weybourne heard a knock at the door of her hotel room and was informed that her husband had been taken to the hospital by ambulance.

Mrs. Weybourne stated, “I inquired as to whether it was heat stroke or a heart attack.”

He was transported to AdventHealth Celebration, a small hospital in Celebration, Florida, whose patients are frequently Disney World visitors.

Mrs. Weybourne continued, ‘I did not see my husband when I arrived at the hospital. I just recall the doctor telling me that his death occurred at 8:06 p.m.

Doctors informed Mrs. Weybourne that her husband died as a result of a cardiac arrest.

The autopsy found that he had lethal doses of fentanyl in his body.

Catherine Wood, assistant coroner, stated, ‘This must have been extremely difficult and distressing for Mr. Weybourne’s family.

Mr. Weybourne passed away in a foreign country, so I am unaware of the causes of his passing.

I am satisfied, based on the autopsy results, that fentanyl, a synthetic opioid used as a pain medication, was the cause of his death.

I extend my deepest condolences to the family of Mr. Weybourne.

“It must have been a tremendous shock, and you did not need to relive it at the inquest.

I hope that you are able to begin to rebuild your lives.

Mrs. Weybourne was joined via video link by Mr. Weybourne’s mother, Margaret, and sister, Emma Wood.

They declined further comment, stating at the inquest, ‘We discussed Philip’s life at his funeral. It is time for a conclusion.

The company has been reached for comment.

»Inquest: British father died after consuming fentanyl at Disney World«

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