Jimmy Guichard was 20 when the pictures were taken - laying in his hospital bed attached to tubes and equipment keeping him alive, a child's soft toy placed on the pillow near his face.
Then his mother Karen Audino made the the heartbreaking decision to remove him from life support, allowing him to die.
Mrs Audino released the harrowing picture of her dying son to warn others in Britain about deadly legal highs that she now wants banned.
Jimmy, a keen sportsman who hoped to join the Army, suffered a heart attack and severe brain damage within hours of taking a herbal substance which appeared to have been bought from a controversial legal high shop in Britain called Skunkworks.
The mother-of-three wants the law changed to ban shops such as UK Skunkworks and has launched a Facebook campaign to push her cause.
"Jimmy was fit and healthy, even the doctors said his organs were perfect," Mrs Audino told the MailOnline.
"I believe what he smoked caused this and I want those shops banned, so nobody else has to go through this pain.
"The first place he laid was in my arms, and it was the last place he was going to be.
"I understand people are often quick to point blame and I'm not saying my son's death is wholly the shop's fault.
"Jimmy bought the drug and would have known the risks - a young boy in our town died when his heart exploded in his chest after taking a legal high.
"But these are dangerous substances and selling them on the high street encourages people to try them.
Jimmy had recently moved from Ireland to England to care for his father, who has cancer.
He was found collapsed in bed just hours after buying the substance. He regained consciousness after a heart attack but his brain swelled, causing bleeding and severe brain damage.
British MP Julian Brazier has backed the campaign to ban the sale of the herbal substances.
"Skunkworks's get-out clause for the sale is that the herb is not for human consumption, but their advice is to help you relax by burning the herbs in the home.
"I find these twisted semantics as repugnant as I am sure you do. Skunkworks, its fellow shops and its websites must be banned."
The MailOnline reports that a spokesman for UK Skunkwords said there was no evidence that Jimmy bought one of their products, despite Mrs Audino's claims.
"All our products are clearly labelled 'not for human consumption'. Our customers are closely monitored and we check IDs."
The company says it is "the UK's premier one-stop shop for lifestyle accessories, smoking paraphernalia and adult fun!"