Two young Australian girls Brianna Scott and Katie Linaneflew, flew to Bali to have the time of their lives, holidaying and basking themselves in the exotic sun, sand and beaches the destination has to offer, but little did they know they'd end up being critically ill and hospitalized by simply drinking a glass of watermelon cocktail on a night out that could have proved fatal.
The two girls, went out for a drink together at a local bar in Seminyak and ordered their last glass of watermelon cocktail at 11 p.m, which is specially home-brewed at the bar and marketed as 'special brews'. After sipping their cocktails, the girls went to their hotel room for the night and that's when horror struck.
The girls started having blurry vision and couldn't see anything in front of them and found it hard even to get up and walk towards the washroom. At first they thought it might be a hangover but later realized that their cocktail was laced with methanol, which is extremely harmful and can also cause sudden death.
"At first we thought it was just a horrible hangover. We woke up and had vertigo and Katie's vision was blurry. I honestly couldn't see much. I was seeing stars. I thought it must be a bit of heat stroke. We were completely dysfunctional. We couldn't use the phone without shutting one eye and taking the phone an arm length away from our faces,'' Brianna Scott told news.com.au.
She further continued that her friend couldn't even touch her food due to lack of clear eyesight. ''Katie woke up and wouldn't touch her food. Then her eyesight had worsened, and she immediately went into hysterics because she has 20/20 vision."
The two then sought medical help at a nearby hospital but revealed that staff wasn't too helpful after all. That's when the duo took to Facebook asking for help in the group 'Just Don't Drink Spirits in Bali' which is run by an Australian man named Colin Ahearn. He quickly came to their help and advised the girls to drink real, duty-free Vodka, which sometimes reverses the symptoms of methanol poisoning. Colin also helped source legitimate alcohol in Seminyak and sent the bottle to the girls to consume.
''We drank half a bottle of Grey Goose,'' said Brianna and confirmed that their condition got better. But while the measure worked for the young Australian girls, it's not the case for everybody. Professor Haber explained how methanol poisoning works. ''Prevention is the first way of avoiding the poisoning, with early recognition (of methanol) the second thing. If you are feeling sick after a drink, stop drinking and access legitimate medical care.,'' he said.
Professor Haber said the reason alcohol, such as the Grey Goose vodka worked for Brianna and Katie is because of the ethanol content in it. "In a hospital we have more than one type of treatment to block this toxic process by using ethanol, but the use of alcohol would be a first aid measure if the person cannot access anything else.''