Mum’s agony after son, 20, who was ‘loving life’ died after drinking bottle of vodka

A mum whose son died aged 20 from alcohol poisoning after drinking a bottle of vodka said “he was loving life” playing in a band and learning new languages.

Mikey Cunniffe, a student at Manchester Metropolitan University, died after drinking while watching YouTube videos with his housemates last October, reported the Manchester Evening News.

He fell asleep and never woke up, despite his best friend’s efforts to save him, and a coroner later found he had died through alcohol poisoning.

His mother, Chrisie Yates., said she never expected to lose her son so young and now wants to raise awareness of the dangers from alcohol.

“You don’t think it’s going to happen to you until it does,” she said.

“On this one occasion a bottle of vodka killed him.”

Chrisie, who said her son was not usually “one for drinking”, is taking comfort in that Mikey lived his live to the full and didn’t suffer when he died.

“He was loving life. He had a good night with his friends. He didn’t wake up, but he was in no pain,” she said.

Not only was Mikey a second-year mechanical engineering student at Manchester Met, but he was also in a band with his friends from home, having taught himself to play guitar at 15.

Along with this he learned how to speak Spanish and Italian and enjoyed salsa dancing and mixed martial arts.

“He did more in his 20 years of life than most people do in 70,” she said. “He was my blue eyed boy.

“He had a good head on his shoulders. He was very bright and he had the world at his feet. He was really generous and kind.”

On Sunday, July 4, Mikey’s step-mum, Amanda Cunniffe, took part in a cycle ride from Manchester to Blackpool in Mikey’s memory. Her best friend Kerry Cain joined her on the 63-mile journey, having both got into cycling during lockdown.

All the money raised, which currently stands at £1,000, will go towards a charity called The Compassionate Friends. It helps to support bereaved family members who have suffered the death of a child or children of any age from any cause. You can donate here.

“Not many people know about this charity,” Amanda said. “Me and my husband Mark (Mikey’s dad) went through it all.

“We thought it was a way to support all those people who have lost a child and are grieving.”

Amanda said how he wasn’t a big drinker.

“It’s something you would never really expect from Mikey,” she said, revealing an occasion when friends had been drinking beers watching the football and he just asked for water instead.

“When the coroner report came through it was alcohol poisoning it was a massive shock,” she added.