A British father died on a family trip to Disney World in Florida after ingesting the synthetic opioid fentanyl, an inquest has been told.
Philip Weybourne, from West Malling in Kent, was on vacation in the United States with his wife and young son in May 2022 when he became ill.
The 40-year-old director of an international IT company collapsed and died after going to a bar at the Yacht Club hotel in Epcot.
An inquest into his death held at Maidstone County Hall heard that while he was rushed to hospital, his condition quickly deteriorated and he could not be saved.
After his death, a blood test revealed that he had fatal levels of fentanyl in his system, a powerful synthetic opioid similar to morphine that requires only two milligrams to be potentially fatal.
Since 1999, the drug that killed pop star Prince is thought to have killed nearly one million people in the United States.
‘Fentanyl is the single deadliest drug threat our nation has ever faced,’ according to the US Drug Enforcement Administration. No community is immune to this poison.’
In a statement read at the hearing, his wife, Dorlyn Weybourne said: ‘We began our holiday at Disneyland, in Orlando, Florida, on May 20, 2022.
‘On May 23, we woke up late and had no theme parks to attend on that day.
‘It was just going to be a relaxing day, we booked a meal at the Boat House, a seafood restaurant at Disney Springs which is also home to tours in vintage amphibious automobiles.
‘My son and I had been shopping and met with Philip at 1pm at the Boat House.’
Her statement continued: ‘We had the best lunch, we drunk champagne like we did when we lived in Dubai.
‘Afterwards we went on an amphibious car ride and to end our day we headed back to the hotel at about 5.30pm.’
Mrs Weybourne explained that her husband, the Middle East director of Excis Compliance Limited, a global IT support company, wanted to continue drinking and went to the Yacht Club hotel at Epcot Resorts Boulevard alone.
The doctors told Mrs Weybourne that her husband had died from a cardiac arrest.
After the autopsy it was revealed that he had fatal levels of fentanyl in his system.
Assistant coroner Catherine Wood said: ‘This must have been very difficult and distressing for Mr Weybourne’s family.
‘I don’t know the circumstances that led up to his death as Mr Weybourne died in another country.
‘He had no underlying health issues and I am content, after the findings of the autopsy, that his death was caused by fatal levels of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid used as a pain medication.
‘I offer my sincere condolences to Mr Weybourne’s family.
‘It must have been a great shock and not something you needed to relive at the inquest.
‘I hope you can begin to rebuild your lives.’
Mrs Weybourne was joined by Mr Weybourne’s mother, Margaret, and his sister, Emma Wood, via video link.
They did not wish to comment further, saying at the inquest: ‘We spoke about Philip’s life at his funeral. It is time for closure.’