File picture: US DEA A student died after taking ecstasy for the first time

London - A student died after taking ecstasy for the first time on his way to BBC Radio One's Big Weekend festival, an inquest heard.

Calum Gill, 21, had taken a huge dose of the Class A drug, causing him to have a seizure and three heart attacks.

As he travelled on the bus to the first day of the festival in May, his friends watched as his face turned grey and his lips turned blue. His pupils were said to be fixed in an eerie stare and his heart began to race at 220 beats per minute. 

The Hull University student, who was months away from graduating, then slid off his seat and began to have a seizure. 

The bus stopped and two passengers who were off-duty medical staff put Gill in the recovery position on a grass bank. They said he had a ‘red hot' temperature. Gill died less than two hours later at Hull Royal Infirmary after having three heart attacks.

Recording a conclusion of misadventure, Coroner Oliver Longstaff said: ‘If one young person hears the event that led to Calum's death before taking drugs, then Calum's death won't be entirely in vain. He was on the cusp of a life with the world at his feet.'

A toxicology examination showed Gill had taken a killer dose of MDMA, the scientific name for ecstasy, of 2,313 milligrams. The Law and European Studies student also had 60 milligrams of alcohol in his bloodstream. 

Dr Laszlo Karsai said: ‘We know from previous data that levels above 1,800 [mg of MDMA] are in the toxic range and anything beyond that level can be fatal.'

Lindsay Carter, a nurse at Sheffield Children's Hospital who was on the bus, said: ‘In all my years I have never seen nor I am likely to forget how poorly he looked. 

‘His pupils were large and they weren't moving. 

‘He needed help immediately as there was nothing we could do to stop the seizure. I felt helpless with no equipment or anything to use but basic first aid skills.' 

The inquest at Hull Coroner's Court heard it was believed to be the first time Gill, from Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, had taken the drug, which he had disguised as paracetamol capsules.
He had planned to teach English in China after working as a pool lifeguard at a summer camp in the US. 

After the hearing, Mr Gill's family paid tribute to the ‘intelligent, talented, handsome and loving' student.  They said in a statement: ‘The tragedy of such unfulfilled potential is hard to bear, especially as he had such a wonderful future ahead of him.' 

Ecstasy-related deaths in Britain increased from eight in 2010 to 57 in 2015.

Daily Mail