I admit, after having my first baby, I upped my caffeine intake dramatically. Baby number two required the occasional afternoon cup of coffee, and still does. So when I read about Natasha Maria Harris, a mom to eight, drinking 18 pints of Coca-Cola a day, I could almost see the math working there. Except of course, no one should be drinking 18 pints of Coca-Cola per day. Not even an exhausted 30-year-old mom who apparently has been pregnant non-stop since she was in her teens.
Now, tragically, those eight children are motherless, as Harris is dead and the suspect is her massive intake of soda.
We all know that caffeinated sugar drinks are not good for anybody, but I doubt this young lady thought she could die from her excessive consumption. In fact, her partner Christopher Hodgkinson made the statement that he thought Coca-Cola was as harmless as water. Clearly these two needed a nutrition class.
Harris died of cardiac arrhythmia and additionally had a diseased liver. The autopsy found that she had severe hypokalemia, and a lack of potassium in the blood, likely due to her hardcore Coke drinking. She had been throwing up about six times a week and feeling unwell prior to her death. The suspect in her vomiting episodes was caffeine toxicity. I'm wondering why no one felt like cluing her in before she dropped dead?
It's possible she was warned, as she is described as being "addicted" to the soft drink. Clearly there's something going on if you're able to drink soda in that quantity. That's more water than a healthy person needs in a day. I almost wonder how she had time to do anything else, like take care of her eight children, if she was busy downing pints of soda.
This is a tragic story that leaves children without a mother, even if that mother had a serious problem. It's hard to believe that nobody raised an eyebrow when she was slugging down the soda, but addiction does trump reason. And sadly, it will also kill you.
How much soda do you drink?
Image via joost-ijmuiden/Flickr