An autistic boy was left in need of life support after being given a drink believed to have been mixed with bleach.
Ronnie Phillips, 12, left his Crawley home with his 11-year-old brother on Friday night while their mum was sleeping.
It is believed the boys met up with some older children who gave Ronnie a can of drink, Sussex Live reports.
According to his mum Danielle Porter, the drink they handed Ronnie contained alcohol.
After drinking it, the boy collapsed on Byrd Road and Ms Potter said the older children ran away.
They reportedly stayed out all night before they were found by police in the morning – but this is yet to be confirmed by officers.
The worried mum said her son Jimmy stayed by his brother’s side screaming for help in the street.
She also added Jimmy has been left traumatised by the incident as he thought his brother had died.
The two boys were found by a woman who helped them while the emergency services arrived, according to Sussex Live.
Ronnie was rushed to St George’s in London, where he was put in an induced coma in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit.
His mum said he has been taken off life support and is due to return home shortly.
Danielle said: “I just want to make people realise the dangers of drink, drugs, playing stupid games and running away leaving a child to die.
“Kids will be kids but this sort of stuff is just ridiculous and dangerous.”
A fundraiser has been launched by the children’s grandma to raise money for Ronnie following the incident.
Tracey Willmor said: “He is now awake but can’t understand why no one likes him and would do this to him when he thought they were his friends.
“I want to show him that people do care and are not all nasty.”
Sussex Police said in a statement: “Police attended Byrd Road, Crawley, shortly before 00.30am on Friday (October 9) after concerns were raised for a boy who had collapsed.
“The boy was taken to hospital in a serious condition. He remains in hospital in a stable condition.
“Enquiries are ongoing to establish the full circumstances of what happened, and to identify if any offences have been committed.
“Police are currently awaiting the results of tests to determine what may have caused the boy to collapse.