My SO's nephew died of alcohol poisoning last night.
He was a bright kid, almost 26 (literally born on the 4th of July). He smiled, but the smile hid the demons of depression and alcoholism. He went through the typical alcoholic regimen, where he quit a million times, lost friends, went to rehab, etc. He really, really was a good kid, really! good! kid! but he just couldn't quit. The addiction was extraordinary, unlike any I've ever seen.
The kid and a friend had a drinking contest last Monday night to see who could drink a half gallon of vodka. The kid won. Then he threw up and passed out. They couldn't wake him up, and he was left to "sleep it off". And then he turned blue. Luckily, one of the young people who was with him knew CPR and administered it while others called 911. I only say luckily, because it gave us a week to say goodbye.
Nobody knows how long the kid was anoxic, but it was enough that his brain could not recover. So we sat by his bed in the ICU for a week and watched him go through the stages of anoxic coma death. First he was chilled, because sometimes that helps minimize brain damage. When they warmed him up, he went through the seizure phase and then was medicated through that. Next came the cough and move phase where we went through the agony of wondering if his movements were reflexive or responsive. Maybe sometimes either one. And then the deterioration accelerated and the neuro told us if he woke he could never care for himself again. And then he miraculously stopped breathing on his own to save his poor mother from having to make the hardest decision. (Yes, he is an organ donor.)
The kids who were with him that night are forever changed. The girl who took charge is a hero. She is proud, or should be. The other girl doesn't sleep or eat now. The boy thinks he "killed him" by not acting sooner but is furious, because he believes our nephew could come out of brain death. No, sorry, brain death is irreversible.
I hope at least one life can be saved from some passerby reading this.
.....If a person you are with drinks so much that you can't wake them up, it's a medical emergency. Dial 911. Don't wait for them to sleep it off. It's as simple as that. CPR may not really save them. You have to help them BEFORE they stop breathing. Nobody will blame you for doing this. People will praise you. And if you don't do it, you may yourself be traumatized for life, as I suspect the kids who were with our nephew will be. They really are victims too.
Anyway, public service message. I'm not sure I'll come back and read the comments. Too upset. But I'd like to get my message, maybe reminder, out to as many people as possible.
Thanks for reading.
Update: For those unaware, many/most states have Emergency/911 Good Samaritan laws that provide immunity from drug possession prosecution for those who provide aid to someone who is experiencing overdose. This immunity, in my state at least, also extends to minors in possession of alcohol. And you don't have to call 911 to get this immunity. You can drop a person off at the ER and leave if you want to. Anyway....good information for anyone who might be in the situation to help but fear legal problems.