In the horrific scene, a panicked father was found after his 17-year-old son was poisoned in his own bedroom overnight

THE FATHER of a 17-year-old boy who died in his bedroom after being poisoned by a fake pill has spoken exclusively to The US Sun about the ordeal.

Chris Didier found his teenage son unresponsive in his room two days after Christmas, on December 27, 2020.

Chris was


Chris was “physically held up” by his other two children after he broke the news about Zach to themPhoto credit: Chris Didier
Zach was incredibly talented, playing guitar and piano, being an athlete, and playing Troy Bolton in his school's high school musical production


Zach was incredibly talented, playing guitar and piano, being an athlete, and playing Troy Bolton in his school’s high school musical productionPhoto credit: Chris Didier
Every Christmas, the Didier family watched as many Christmas movies as possible


Every Christmas, the Didier family watched as many Christmas movies as possiblePhoto credit: Chris Didier

Zach Didier died of fentanyl poisoning from a fake pain relief pill he bought at the mall.

Chris explained her family tradition of watching as many Christmas movies as possible during the holidays.

The night before Zach died, he came home early from his girlfriend’s house to spend some quality time with his father and siblings.

“There was Zach sitting right next to me on the couch to my left and our dog and we were just watching a movie,” Chris said.

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He added: “My fear as a parent at the time is my newly licensed teenage child driving. When Zach got home, I was relieved and said, ‘OK, Zach is home, this is another successful day, I’ve got all my kids home with me and we all survived,'” not realizing the immediate Danger lurked in his pocket.

“After the movie, he went to bed and said, ‘I love you, Dad.'”

The next morning, Zach didn’t come down to play the piano like he usually did, and it was getting too late for a long lie-in like the Didier kids do on vacation.

Chris said: “I found him in his room and he appeared to be sleeping at his computer desk.

“He had his head resting on his arm and it just looked like he’d been up all night studying.

“I walked towards him and didn’t touch him yet, but within two feet I could feel an emptiness – something terrible had happened and it was very scary, haunting.”

The tearful dad added: “My heart sank and I had never had this experience before. I touched Zach and could tell immediately that he wasn’t breathing.

“He started turning blue and I went into this hyperdrive and I just started reacting — I wasn’t even thinking.”

Training from his 22 years of active duty kicked in, Chris called Zach’s older brother, Sam, to call 911.

Chris began resuscitating his son and Sam came upstairs and asked his father how he could help.

The former Air Force veteran explained: “But when he walked in he had a shocked look on his face because he had never seen a seemingly lifeless body before.

“So that it was his adoring little brother, he just kicked him in the stomach and he couldn’t speak.”

The father added that his son’s expression was one of “total fear and sorrow”.

“Losing a child is hard, but seeing your other children suffer, and as a parent, there’s nothing you can do to save them, definitely adds an extra layer of anguish,” he said.

Zach’s brother and sister stayed downstairs when the medical techs arrived.

After they attached sensors to Zach and performed CPR, one of the rescuers turned to Chris and said, “I’m sorry it’s too late.”

The distraught dad admitted, “I got mad and said, ‘Fuck it — that’s not acceptable.'”

When the technicians kept apologizing, Chris said: “You guys have to help me save my boy now. Failure is not an option. We will save him.”

In his panic and desperation, he took over, ordering emergency services to call 911 and hand him the defibrillator and epi-pens.

He explained: “This is my rock bottom because I tried to get 911 to help and they tried and they couldn’t and so I decided I’m going to force this, I’m going to fight back, so I continued CPR.

“These gentlemen couldn’t help me, so I went to Zach and I called him, I said ‘Please come back,’ and I said ‘Don’t go.'”

A medical tech was forced to move Chris away from his son in what he describes as “the low point of my life.”

He said: “I felt really devastated. Completely and utterly devastated and I remember falling sideways in a fetal position and just crying.”

Chris then had to juggle his grief with his feeling of needing to be strong for his other children as “solution providers” in their lives.

“I came down and I’m the fixer-upper guy, the fixer-upper guy, and I said to Sam and Ali, ‘We lost our Zach.’

“Then I lost my composure again and these two were growing up before my eyes and physically holding me up and we were all downstairs in the living room together and they were very strong – it was inspiring.

“They said, ‘Dad, everything will be fine. We will survive this together. We are strong.’

“‘Zach is with us, he wants us to be strong together’ — they said some profound, amazing things and it helped carry me.

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“They carried me for the first time.”

Two years after his son’s death, Chris continues to struggle with the loss and said his presentations about the dangers of illegal fentanyl get him up every day.

Zach died of fentanyl poisoning after taking a fake pain relief pill


Zach died of fentanyl poisoning after taking a fake pain relief pillPhoto credit: Chris Didier
Zach was an A-grader and very active at school


Zach was an A-grader and very active at schoolPhoto credit: Chris Didier


PaulLeBlanc is a Dailynationtoday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. PaulLeBlanc joined Dailynationtoday in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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