The family of a 13-year-old boy who died after he was found unconscious at Ystrad Mynach Park have urged parents to talk about the consequences of drug use with their children.
Lewis School Pengam pupil Carson Price was found by a member of the public at the park on Friday, April 12. Emergency services were called and took him to the Heath hospital in Cardiff, where he was pronounced dead.
While an exact cause of death has yet to be established, Gwent Police has said one of its lines of enquiry is that Carson may have taken a form of ecstasy pill called ‘Donkey Kong’, which is shaped as the video games character.
On Thursday, friends and family of Carson gathered at Ystrad Mynach Park for a balloon release to remember the teenager, described as “bright and caring, kind and loving”.
In a statement, Carson’s family said: “From the bottom of our hearts, we’d like to thank all those that have taken the time to leave messages of condolences. Hearing your fond memories of Carson has brought us comfort during this terrible time. We have been truly overwhelmed by the support we have received locally, nationally and from around the world.
“We as a family, along with Carson’s friends and the Ystrad Mynach community, have been able to celebrate the short life of our beautiful boy who we will all miss so much and it has given us great comfort to see all those who knew and cared about Carson come together. We’d like to thank Carson’s friends for organising such a thoughtful tribute, I know they all meant so much to him.
“Thinking of another family going through what we have is unbearable. We urge people to talk about the devastating consequences that drugs can have and how they destroy lives. Parents, please speak to your children, or if you are young and need help, there are people that can give you advice.
“If anyone can help find those responsible, please come forward. Someone, somewhere must know information which could help. However small the detail may seem, please get in touch with Gwent Police to help them with their investigation.”
Rachael Joynes, whose children were friends with Carson, was at the vigil. She said: “It’s important to be here to show support for Carson’s family and friends, my boy being one of them.
“Carson was a great boy and he will be sorely missed. It’s left a huge gap in Cefn Hengoed and it’s affected all three of my children.”
Caerphilly County Borough Mayor Cllr Mike Adams was also at Ystrad Mynach Park to pay his respects.
Cllr Adams said: “It’s a place where a civic leader should be during a time of local grief.
“I’m glad I was informed about this gathering of the community to remember Carson’s short life. I’ve heard all about what a bright young lad he was.
“I’ve tried to talk to as many young people as I can about the dangers of drugs and the support offered by the school.”
Gwent Police have warned people not to take ‘Donkey Kong’ pills because of its dangers.
Superintendent Nick McLain said: “The community are telling us that they have growing concerns about this drug and we want to do all we can to make people aware of the dangers.
“Our advice to all members of the public who may currently have this drug in their possession, is to not take it. If you have already taken ‘Donkey Kong’ or any other illegal drug and feel unwell, please seek medical help immediately.
“We want everyone to be aware of the devastating consequences that drugs can have and we’re especially asking all parents to speak to their children and to share our message.”