The family of Georgina Bartter, the 19-year-old Sydney woman who died of a suspected drug overdose at this weekend’s Harbourlife festival, have paid tribute to the teenager after her tragic passing.
“She was a beautiful and vibrant young woman who was much loved and will be sadly missed,” the Bartter family said in a statement, via The Sydney Morning Herald.
“She had allergies and it was extremely out of character.”
Bartter’s friends told police they believed she had taken “one and a half pills” at yesterday’s festial. It is understood she took a combination of drugs, although police would not specify which.
According to News Limited, a fellow festival patron raised the alarm. Irish tourist Owen Mullens says he saw Ms Bartter looking “unwell”, lying at the bottom of a staircase. He reportedly stopped to ask if she was okay, but she did not respond.
“I sat next to her and watched for about 30 seconds to one minute and returned to tell her friend that she needed help,” he said. “She agreed and asked for a paramedic so I ran and got one.”
Police and paramedics were called to treat Ms Bartter at around 4.40pm, but by the time she arrived at St Vincent’s hospital, she had gone into cardiac arrest, and doctors were unable to save her.
An emergency department doctor, who requested not to be named, told the Herald: “The big danger comes when you mix pills and, in the past, there have been deaths from people just taking two tablets with different chemicals,”
“A lot of these tablets, ecstasy, amphetamines, anti-depressants, release chemicals like serotonin … into the brain. The actions of these pills are supposed to make you feel happy and elated.”
“But if you have two tablets that have different mechanisms, you can have a massive outpouring of serotonin leading to death.”
Bartter, who was the eldest of three children, graduated from Wenona high school last year, where she was reportedly a top student. It is believed to have been studying accounting.
Ms Bartter’s friends have also paid tribute. “She was really lovely to everyone at school. She was the life of the party,” said one.
“Everyone’s in shock,” said another. “She had so much potential and it was way too early.”
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