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'Vodka nearly killed me'

Article provided by NHS Choices

After drinking a litre of vodka with her friends to celebrate the end of term, Anna started to slip into a coma.

It was nearly the end of term and, to celebrate, one of Anna's friends suggested they get drunk. "One of the boys looks older, so he went to buy us alcohol," says Anna, 15. "I asked for an alcopop, but he brought back a litre bottle of vodka.

"I hated the taste, but I decided I'd drink the whole bottle - and that's exactly what I did. The others shared fizzy wine. I remember being sick, but I don't remember much more."

'I just froze'

Around 10.30pm, Anna was found slumped outside the youth club. For 10 minutes, friends tried but failed to get her to open her eyes. An ambulance was called. The crew couldn't rouse her. It was 11.15pm. Her heart rate was dangerously low.

As Anna was rushed to East Surrey Hospital in Redhill, her mother Joanna received the terrible news: her daughter was unconscious. "I just froze," she says. "When I reached A&E, Anna was on a trolley with drips in her nose and a drain down her throat.

"The doctors opened her eyes and shone a torch into them, and her eyes had rolled right back. They asked me whether she took drugs, but I said no," says Joanna. "Funnily enough, I'd never worried about alcohol. She didn't even like the taste.

"The doctors managed to bring her round in A&E and they were pumping fluids into her. She had serious dehydration, but they got her to respond."

'The alarms went quiet'

But at 3am, the monitors connected to Anna began bleeping loudly. Her heart rate had plummeted. Anna was going into a coma, so they started injecting her with drugs to revive her. She seemed to be dying.

"For nearly an hour, medical staff tried different drugs," says Joanna. "Luckily, she stabilised again and the alarms went quiet. Her colour improved and she started to breathe more deeply.

"Then at 5am, Anna suddenly sat up and said, 'Where am I? I need the loo!' She's vowed never to get drunk again. She's learnt her lesson."

"I can't stand the smell of alcohol now," says Anna.

Find out how binge drinking affects your mind and body.

Article provided by NHS Choices

See original on NHS Choices

Record managed by Oxfordshire Family Information Service