Wellington, Apr 30 (ANI): A woman in New Zealand, who used to drink drinking up to 18 litres of Coca-Cola a day, knows how addictive the carbonated soft drink can be.
Blenheim woman Paulette Wyatt's weight shot up over 100kg during those three dark years, from 92kg to 198kg at her heaviest, and all the while she continued with her habit.
Wyatt ended her Coca-Cola addiction by pouring all 30 bottles she had in her house down the sink.
She insisted that she understands how an Invercargill woman could drink so much of the beverage that it contributed to her death.
Last week a pathologist told an Invercargill enquiry that Natasha Harris, 30, died of cardiac arrhythmia, agreeing with a coroner that her daily Coca-Cola consumption of between 4.5 and 8 litres had most likely caused it.
"I used to drink 18 litres of coke a day about 18 years ago," Stuff.co.nz quoted the 38-year-old mother of four as saying.
"I stopped drinking about 15 years ago. I just built up to it, just got used to it. It's a mad thing to do, a mad thing to do."
Wyatt revealed that she was the victim of an attack when she was 16, and believed that this event led to, and fed, her Coke addiction.
"It's all mental. If something happens in your life, a lot of people turn to drugs or alcohol, and for a lot of bigger people they turn to food. We're all like it."
Wyatt still finds it difficult to believe how addicted she became.
"We had bottles for Africa - and I didn't even know I was drinking that much. I even had a bottle of Coke beside my bed so when I'd wake up in the middle of the night I'd have a glass of Coke."
I can't believe I drank that much, that I could even fit it in there," she said.
Apart from weight gain and the odd bout of irritability she experienced from not having her daily dose, the effect of the extreme consumption went mostly unnoticed at the time.
However she got a wake up call one day while drinking a glass of the soft drink.
She felt the ache shooting up her arm and through the back of her shoulder.
On her mother's suggestion, she drove up to Wairau Hospital for a check-up.
"I thought I was having a heart attack, but it wasn't - it was just a scare. They advised me not to have any more caffeine."
"I made the decision myself.
"I didn't do it slowly. I had boxes of it sitting there in the house, and I tipped all 30 bottles of it down the sink. It felt good. All I had in my head was, 'I don't want to die'. If I carried on the way I had been it would have killed me."
Migraine headaches constituted Wyatts' withdrawal symptoms, leaving her bedridden for three days.
"It took a good week to come right again. I just kept downing the water to flush it out of my system," she added.
She could no longer have caffeine as it would lead to heart murmurs.
Nearly three years ago, Wyatt paid 18,000 dollars for a gastric bypass in Hamilton, after her knees started dislocating because of her weight. (ANI)
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