Public schoolboy dies after drinking to excess during university initiation society

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    A former public schoolboy has died after consuming excessive amounts of alcohol at a university society initiation in Newcastle.

    Ed Farmer has started an economics degree at Newcastle University when he took part in what is believed to have been some sort of drinking ceremony. But rather than having a good night out with friends, he ended up being rushed to hospital in the early hours and placed on life support in a bid to save him.

    His mother and father, Jeremy and Helen, rushed to be at Mr Farmer’s bedside as he passed away the following day. The 20 year old was taking part in a university initiation ceremony, in which students are dared to consume large amounts of alcohol.

    Following a large number of deaths, universities have tried to prevent the practice. It is not clear which alcoholic drinks Mr Farmer had consumed, or exactly how many, before he died.

    Mr Farmer’s death follows that of Gavin Bitton, an 18 year old student who was studying in Exeter. He passed away after drinking the equivalent of more than three bottles of wine during an initiation ceremony held for the golf society.

    Agriculture society

    A friend of Mr Farmer’s said he had been taking part in a ceremony to join the agriculture society. Another said that no one realised that Mr Farmer had stopped breathing until it was too late.

    Mr Farmer’s heartbroken father released a statement which quoted one of his friends, saying that he was the guy who has it all – the intelligence, humour, looks and personality. The family also thanked staff at the hospital which tried to save him and the university for supporting the family through their traumatic time.

    The popular student was a keen rugby player who was living in the Castle Leazes hall of residence, where more than 1,000 students life. He was bluelighted to hospital in the early hours of Tuesday and passed away on Wednesday with his parents by his side.