'SPIKED DRINK ALMOST KILLED ME' - Saturday night terror
NO ONE goes out on a Saturday night looking for the kind of trouble that nearly killed Mitchell Cooper.
It is unclear what might have happened if Royal Hotel owners Stacey Lowe and Linc Phelps had not called the ambulance.
Mr Cooper and his partner, Iris Van Nunen, went out for drinks at Club 88 and at the Royal Hotel.
They had a few drinks, but did not expect the potentially lethal narcotic someone put in Mr Cooper's drink.
The end of a Saturday night out nearly became the end of his life.
"It was about 2.30am and we were walking from the Royal to the cab rank," Ms Van Nunen said.
"That was when Mitchell first complained of chest pain."
A second later he fell to the ground.
"The owners of the Royal, Stacey and Linc, came over and called an ambulance and made sure he was okay."
Yesterday, Mr Cooper said: "All I really remember was we went for a drink at Club 88 and went to the Royal about 10.15pm."
A few hours later his heart rate was suddenly out of control before he collapsed in Mary St, clutching at his chest in agony.
"I thought the fresh air might help and we walked across the road to call for a cab," he said.
"Then my heart was just racing and it was crazy pain.
"I was holding on to Linc and looked up and saw two police and an ambulance.
"Just sitting in the ambulance I can remember thinking, 'I'm going to die'.
"I thought, 'I'm not going to live'.
"Then I was lying on a hospital bed. They told me it was some sort of narcotic."
It was a terrible shock for the health conscious 21-year-old and his partner, 19, as they seriously contemplated the end.
"You've got to hang on to your drink," Mr Cooper said.
Drink spiking is a serious offence, with young women usually the target, but Mr Cooper says his experience showed males too have to be careful.
"It might have been just a prank to them, but it was nearly the end for me," he said.
Mr Cooper said a heart attack at his age was the last thing he expected.
"I've been health crazy," he said.
"I don't smoke, no drugs, I'm always eating healthy, eating all my vegetables and salad.
"I probably have two chocolate bars a year.
"I get home from work and go for a run.
"Stacey and Linc said I wasn't out of control, I wasn't messy and then suddenly...
"I wasn't doing any Red Bull or anything like that.
"They don't know exactly what it was, but the tests came back positive for some kind of narcotic.
"I still don't know if there was any permanent damage.
"They said my heart was racing, but I probably didn't have a heart attack.
"I'm just glad I was fit. "I was never a kid who played on the X-box all the time.
"I'm just thrilled to be still on the right side of the grass."