Artist says son died of ‘overdose’ after years of bullying over her disability
Heartbroken Alison Lapper has revealed her son died of an 'accidental overdose' after years of being tormented by bullies because of her disability.
Parys Lapper, who suffered from depression and anxiety, was found dead in a hotel in Worthing last month.
His body was placed on cushions on the floor of his home before he was cremated so Alison, who was born without any arms and shortened legs, could lie beside him one last time.
The grieving mum spent eight hours with her 19-year-old son, crying, hugging and kissing his hair.
She says Parys, who featured in the BBC documentary series Child of Our Time, had been "out of control" before his death.
The trouble teen was caught in a "vicious circle" of using drugs to escape his mental issues – which only made them worse.
However Alison, 54, does not want her son to be "remembered as a junkie" – but instead says the drugs were a "consequence of what he had been though".
The artist from Brighton, who posed for an iconic Trafalgar Square plinth when she was pregnant, has told of how Parys's drug use was sparked by his trauma with school bullies who mocked him because Alison was "a crip".
He turned from a confident, young boy brimming with energy into a reserved shadow of his former self.
At the age of 13, he told Alison he didn't want her to attend parents' evenings because of the reaction from his classmates.
"We were the show," she told The Sunday Times .
"The next day Parys would go in and they would rip pieces out of him."
Three years later, his behaviour and drug use had become so erratic that Alison was forced to have him taken into care, aged 16.
She continued to visit him regularly and spoke to him on the phone just three days before his death.
And she believed he had been on the road to recovery and he was looking forward to starting a new job.
But his life was tragically cut short in the hotel room.
Parys had also felt pressurised by the body images people posted on social media and Alison felt "bloody useless" not being able to help him.
She had showered him with love and Alison was hailed an inspiration for overcoming numerous hurdles because of her disabilities to care for Parys.
At 13 months, the youngster was able to run away from her. And by the age of four he was taller and stronger than her.
But it was while attending high school that Parys's life took a dark turn and he was a target because of his mum's appearance.
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