A HEARTBROKEN mum has paid tribute to her “inquisitive and kind” son whose sudden death was possibly linked to the use of nitrous oxide.

An inquest was yesterday held into the death Rory Wai, 18, who died suddenly at his home in Wivenhoe on August 6 last year.

His devastated mum Sally Anderson-Wai told the Gazette her son had ambition, a keen intelligence and a will and a drive to do his best.

The inquest held at Chelmsford Coroner’s Court heard Rory’s sudden death was possibly related to the use of nitrous oxide.

Det Insp Kevin Hughes told the court: “It was a tragic case, which can bring home some of the dangers of drug use.”

After the hearing, Sally said Rory had been hardworking and kind. He had already held down jobs in a chip shop, as a dog walker, a paper delivery boy and a lifeguard.

“He was listening to motivational tapes and he had a ten year plan,” she said.

“He was thinking of becoming a property developer, he’d cleared his bedroom out and had a whiteboard with all these things to do on it.”

Rory had considered studying engineering at university and was planning a trip to America.

Just weeks before he died, he saved a boy’s life while working as a lifeguard at Valley Farm Caravan Park, Clacton.

He had also worked at Brightlingsea Lido after completing his A-Levels at Colchester Sixth Form College.

Sally said: “He didn’t live to know how well he had done.”

When Rory’s results arrived, his family saw he had achieved an A grade in Maths and B grades in Physics and Chemistry, as well as a B in AS-Level Accountancy.

Sally said: “After passing all of his 11 GCSEs he won the top prize for Maths in Year 11."


Award - Rory was a high-achiever academically

“At college, he was a mentor to younger and less able students.

“After he died a couple of his friends came up and said they really loved Rory and it was because he had helped them when they were being bullied at school.

“At the college, he was awarded a posthumous academic award and a new sports award was named after him in December 2019.

“He was a very inquisitive boy, who would ask a lot of questions, and so hard-working .”

Rory also leaves behind his dad, Henry, and brothers William and David.

Sally added: “Rory’s death has devastated us.

“We hope it might act as a deterrent to young people who might think twice about taking drugs or experimenting with laughing gas.

“People think laughing gas is OK but it’s really not.”