Do Read On…
Here’s a typical scenario for a college kid or anyone found in the center of a crowd screaming “Chug! Chug! Chug! ”
If you’re lucky the worst thing you’d face may be becoming crazy drunk, waking up with beer-breath, puking, dehydration or a hang-over the next day.
That encouraging chanting may probably seem harmless then, but was not for Hanna Lottritz, who was stuck in a coma for over 24 hours after binging her drink and waking up in a hospital soon after.1
Hanna was a journalism student in the University of Nevada. When she was out with her friends at the Night in the Country Music Festival, she had two beers and later joined a group to a campsite, where she proudly said she could drink more than any of them. To prove her point, she
And that was the last thing she remembered.
Just 5 minutes after, she fell unconscious and was taken to the medical tent only to discover that she was not breathing. Rushing her to a hospital in Reno, she was in critical condition because she had serious respiratory failure and alcohol intoxication, leaving her completely unresponsive and in a coma.
She finally regained consciousness, almost a day after, with a tube down her throat and restraints that she could not loosen. The doctors told Hanna that they didn’t think she would survive. In fact, her blood alcohol level was around .41, which was around 5 times more than the legal limit, and was Hanna was questioned as to whether she was suicidal.
A question which struck a chord in her and shakes her till date.
Hanna said that she started drinking socially when she was 16 years old,
As a brief description, binge drinking is basically when someone drinks over five drinks in one sitting, mostly by 18–34 year olds’, say the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. It is believed that around 90% of binge drinkers are below 21. And the long-term consequences of heavy alcohol consumption include liver failure and brain damage.
Hanna said she has learned to drink in moderation and has a new respect for alcohol, it’s not a game and over-indulging can seriously threaten your life. She said that if it could happen to her, it could happen to anyone.
After this traumatic incident, Hanna put an effort to post a forthcoming narrative of her experience online, along with some disturbing photos of herself when she was in a coma in the hospital, taken by her sister and of the scars on her wrists from the various hospital blood tests.
Her story went viral almost instantly with around 400,000 page views and the country’s full attention.
Hanna learnt and wants us to know that it’s important to drink responsibly as the consequences may be far worse than a spontaneous and stupid decision.
Although she does enjoy the occasional drink for special events, she said she is lucky her friends didn’t neglect her but got help as soon as possible.
So, the next time see a crowd or are in one, chanting “Chug!” you may want to keep Hanna’s story in mind and make sure you save a life, be it your own or anyone else’s.
Remember, your choices lie in your circle of will-power not peer-pressure.