I was drinking three litres of vodka a day and doctors gave me just 24 hours to live
- Charlotte Durcan, 30, from Lancashire is now celebrating 11 months of sobriety
- READ MORE: Mum-of-two reveals how she lost 55kg in 11 months after realising she was desperately unhappy: ‘The first thing to go was my relationship’
A Lancashire woman has spoken out about how doctors gave her just 24 hours to live after alcohol addiction resulted in her suffering with multiple organ failure.
Charlotte Durcan, 30, says that her addiction began only three years ago, as she only drank alcohol occasionally before then and would have considered herself a non-drinker.
However, as a self-confessed ‘extremist’, the mother-of-two went from nothing, to drinking three litres of vodka a day.
As a result of her addiction, she started to have seizures and blackouts – but she still didn’t realise how serious the situation had become.
Charlotte said: ‘I drank to the extreme and that’s my personality, I don’t do things by halves.
Charlotte Durcan (pictured) was given just 24 hours to live by doctors, as a result of her extreme alcohol intake
‘It’s always everything is the furthest I can take it, in a sense. I was drinking really heavily and basically, it grabbed me.’
It was when Charlotte realised that she couldn’t go without a drink that she knew the drinking had become a serious addiction.
She says she found that every time she didn’t have a drink, she would start ‘shaking and sweating’.
The mother-of-two added: ‘In the mornings, I would have to have a drink, just to level me out.
‘It would be vodka and that would be a pint of vodka neat. That would be literally to stop me from shaking and stop me from being too sick and sweating – that’d work.
‘From there, it would just carry on throughout the day, but obviously, when money went tight and things, I would try and get family to get me drink.
‘I was using all my money up on drink, so they’d sometimes only be able to get me bottles of wine and things.
‘Then I started to realise it was a problem, when I could have a full bottle of wine and it wouldn’t affect me.’
The 30-year-old (pictured) is currently celebrating 11 months of sobriety from alcohol. She is now trying to raise awareness of addiction, to help others who are struggling
Charlotte realised she needed to drink vodka in order to feel a difference, but after blacking out again, she visited the hospital for the first time.
She was kept in for a few days and returned home. However, despite going four days without drinking whilst being admitted, she ‘went straight back to the drink’ upon her return and ended up back in hospital again, with this circle of events occurring around three or four times.
‘The last time, I ended up in intensive care with multiple organ failure,’ Charlotte continued.
‘I had heart failure, liver failure, kidney failure and they had to take two litres of fluid from my lungs and I was in for three weeks, but I couldn’t move, I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t talk.
‘So I was in intensive care, I was on oxygen and they got all of my family in to say bye to me. I was literally on end of life care.’
Charlotte’s family visited her bedside at 2am, after they were told by doctors she had only 24 hours left to live. However, she says that somehow she ‘managed to pull through’ and ended up going to rehab after recovering from her hospital visit.
Nowadays, the mum is celebrating 11 months of sobriety and is volunteering for Inspire Lancashire, which are currently undertaking an alcohol awareness campaign, Hidden in Plain Sight.
The campaign focuses on people with addictions who may not appear to be suffering on the outside, but are battling with their inner demons, that can sometimes lead to fatalities.
Charlotte says that often, addiction is associated with people who have been struggling for years, but in her case, she was grappled by alcoholism quickly.
‘My story is a lot different to other people’s,’ Charlotte explained.
‘I think people think that you have to be an alcoholic for so many years or start off as a drinker, then a binge drinker and then you’re an alcoholic.
‘Whereas, I’m trying to raise awareness that it can literally happen to you so quickly, without you even realising and then it can be too late for some people.
‘I was close to dying, all of my family thought I was going to die, but I didn’t have a clue because I was so out of it. That was my outcome after two years of drinking heavily.’
Inspire Lancashire helped Charlotte to get into rehab when she was discharged from hospital and her relationship with the service has remained strong ever since. She says the team supported her to stop drinking gradually, as stopping cold turkey would have most likely killed her.
The service is geared towards helping people tackling their drug and alcohol use by reducing or removing substances from people’s lives.
For Charlotte, she’s hoping to raise awareness of addiction and inspire others to ask for help if they’re struggling with their own journeys.
For her future, Charlotte’s hoping to get to a year sobriety and from there, will then look into finding full-time employment.
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