July 11, 2019
Lachlan Foote, 21, dies after drinking protein shake containing enough ’caffeine for FIFTY coffees'
Lachlan Foote, 21, was set to celebrate his 22nd birthday the following day but instead his family were grieving their son’s death. His body was found on the bathroom floor of the family’s home in Blackheath, New South Wales, Australia after he downed the muscle building drink. But they have only just discovered the cause of death, and are sharing the heartbreaking story in the hope of “saving someone else’s life”. The lad’s dad Nigel said the coroner’s report revealed Lachlan had died as “caffeine toxicity” after adding caffeine power to his protein shake.
“Dawn and I have finally received the Coroner’s findings regarding Lachlan – he died of ‘caffeine toxicity’ (not from a dodgy batch of protein powder as we had first thought). There was nothing else in his system except a small amount of alcohol (.043).”It turns out that Lachlan came home after celebrating New Year’s Eve with his friends and made a protein shake, innocently adding too much (caffeine powder) – a teaspoon is lethal (the equivalent of 25-50 coffees).”
Nigel added: “We think Lachlan obtained the caffeine powder from a friend or work associate as a thorough search of his computer and bank statements, by both myself and the police, revealed no mention of caffeine powder, only related protein powder products.
“Therefore, it appears the pure caffeine powder was bought by someone else and shared, so it’s very likely that Lachlan never got to read the warning label on the packet and was unaware of its potency.
“And the fact that he kept the caffeine powder in our kitchen pantry (where one of us might have mistaken it for flour or sugar) proves the point – Lachlan would never have kept it there had he known it was a threat to the family. He was a bright, imaginative young man.
“We’re concerned that there might be other young people in his circle who bought or shared in this batch of pure caffeine powder and, like Lachlan, be unaware of the danger… hence this post.”
Just hours before Lachlan’s death, the young man had sent a Facebook message to friends saying his protein shake tasted “off”.
He wrote: “I think my protein powder has gone off. Just made an anti hangover / workout shake and it tasted awful”.
When a pal asked “how?”, Lachlan replied: “Dunno, was kinda bitter though… anyway night lads.”
Describing the tragic events that following, Nigel added in his Facebook post: “Morning never came for Lachlan. We found him, dead and cold on the bathroom floor (New Year’s Day 2018)… the day before his 22nd birthday.
“It has been an excruciating wait for the Coroner’s findings, but the love and support we have received from our family, friends and this fabulous Blue Mountains community has seen us through. We can never thank you enough.
“The investigation is finally over and we are not left wondering what exactly happened to Lachie any more – we now know. The original autopsy revealed caffeine but not the precise levels, so another, more specialised test had to be done, hence the delay. The Coroner’s forensic team and counselling staff have been wonderful.
“We bear no ill feeling toward whoever shared the caffeine powder with Lachlan as we’re sure this was just a tragic, innocent mistake.
“It’s just insane that something so dangerous is so readily available. Please warn your friends, talk to your children… and perhaps check your kitchen cupboards…pure caffeine powder looks just like any other white powder… but a heaped teaspoon of it will kill you.
“I’m not going to go on a crusade about caffeine powder – we need to move on – but I do want to warn Lachlan’s friends and the Blue Mountains community.
“I will post some special ‘Lachlan moments’ now and then – perhaps on his birthday – for I know how much he meant to so many of you. He lives on in our hearts… our photos… and in the stars…”