Corey Haim‘s neighbour, Jim Conessa, told HollywoodLife.com that he still appeared to be alive when he was wheeled into the ambulance earlier today — an account that is seconded by TMZ.com which says that Corey collapsed in front of his mother Judy, after 1 a.m. but didn’t die until later at the hospital, at 2:15 a.m.
While it’s being widely reported that Corey succumbed to an apparent drug overdose, his case is unusual. Here’s why: Usually drug overdose victims who are still breathing when they are found, survive their overdoses. Here’s what may have happened instead to Corey, according to an NYC internist, Dr. Ronald Minutoli. “Most people who die of an overdose die because they stop breathing,” he explains. “Most prescription drugs that people overdose on are sedatives or narcotics or alcohol, or a combination thereof and they have a suppressive effect on breathing. In other words, they cause people to stop breathing,” he says. (This occurred in the case of Heath Ledger, for example). “If you are discovered and you are still breathing, medical personnel can oxygenate you and can then inject you with a drug called Narcan, which reverses the effects of the narcotics. People in this situation can almost always be saved.”
The fact that Corey first “collapsed,” and was still alive when medical personnel arrived, and then died later, suggests to Dr. Minutoli that he may have used a stimulant drug like cocaine or an amphetamine, alone or in combination with other drugs. A stimulant drug could possibly cause a heart attack, a heart arrhythmia or a stroke, which would have been almost impossible to treat. “Everything you do to reverse the effects of something cardiovascular doesn’t work because the stimulant drug is still in the bloodstream and will continue to cause spasms in the coronary arteries — which will again create an arrhythmia,” he explains.
Only time and a full autopsy report will reveal why Corey Haim died at 38, but this is a very plausible explanation.
— Bonnie Fuller