17-year-old Matt Dear decided to take steroids to help him bulk up so he could join the Royal Marines - and on Monday April 20 he died after a reaction from them. Now his parents Chris and Tina have been warning other teenagers against these sorts of unprescribed pills.
Matt Dear spent a week in hospital before he died on Monday
What was Matt like?
Matt's big dream was to become a Royal Marine, so he used to go out running every morning, 6 o'clock in the morning he'd to run about six or seven miles. He was just a fitness fanatic, and he just wanted to join a gym and get fit for the summer and join the Royal Marines.
How did he start taking steroids?
Obviously we didn't know he was taking steroids. We haven't got a clue why he's done that. They're still investigating that they were steroids, because obviously what Matt thought he was taking might not be the case.
When did he start using them?
When Matthew wasn't very well we decided to call an ambulance, and when the ambulance people came he admitted to them that he was taking steroids. We did find a chart in his bedroom and he'd been taking them for the past three weeks, where you like build these steroids up to something like four a day.
Matt (left) had his heart set on joining the Royal Marines
What happened when he was in hospital?
He was in hospital all week and his body was just shutting down basically. It wasn't a very nice death, he was in a lot of pain, excruciating pain, and there's nothing I could do, there was nothing the doctors could do, except like preventive medicines, that's all they could do. It was an absolute nightmare. We just stayed down the hospital every night and every day with him, you know, we just could not leave him. He was such a beautiful kid, we just could not believe it.
Why was he so keen to bulk up like this?
I just think he wanted to get fit for the Royal Marines and I think part of their training is that they have to carry people. Obviously he was fit but he had a very thin frame, and I think that he just wanted to get bigger and stronger so that he could like carry other 20, 21, 22-year-olds.
You've released a very harrowing picture of Matt in hospital - are you hoping other people will learn from this?
I was very reluctant and that was absolutely a nightmare to take that picture, but we had the picture there and we thought we'd just like to warn every other parent. When their children attend these places they've got to keep their eye on them so much. Please, please, please don't chance it, don't listen to magazines and watch other media and think that you have to look like them and be big and, especially for girls, being skinny, just be yourself because everybody loves you the way you are.