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'I drank five bottles of wine EVERY DAY and ended up on life support' Alcoholic Warns

The recommended maximum intake of alcohol for women is between two and three units a day, and no mor...

The recommended maximum intake of alcohol for women is between two and three units a day, and no more than 14 units a week.

So it is little wonder that Patricia Murphy - who drank up to 350 units every week for 25 years - eventually ended up in hospital on a life support machine with cirrhosis of the liver, or that she is now waiting to be told if she'll need a liver transplant.

Patricia, 45, lives in Chessington, Surrey, and has been sober for seven months. Feeling lucky to still be alive, the former sales assistant now wishes to tell her story, hoping to warn other women about the dangers of alcohol, the legal substance which ruined her life.

At death's door: Patricia Murphy, last November, when her organs shut down as a result of cirrhosis of the liver and she had developed blood poisoning

Patricia began drinking when she was 17, after leaving school to train as a sales assistant.

Naturally shy, drinking made her feel confident among her peers, and soon she was drinking 10 double brandy and Cokes at the weekends.

When she started working in computer sales she was drinking alcohol every night with colleagues- sometimes up to a litre of brandy.

Aged 28, both her parents died within five months of each other, and alcohol became something with which she could numb her grief.

'Alcohol blocked the pain. I'd have a glass of wine in the morning, then more throughout the day. I lived alone so there was no one to stop me. I lost my job because of it.

'I was so drunk I'd forgotten to turn up and couldn't hold down a routine. My brothers and sisters told me to cut down, but I ignored them, I was ashamed at how my life was turning out but I couldn't stop.'

Soon she was drinking five bottles of wine every day, and waking up in the middle of the night sweating and shaking. She used all of her benefits money to buy alcohol, and spent all day watching TV and feeling depressed.
"Drinking five bottles of wine a DAY left me on life support." Alcoholic warns of binge drink danger
The effects of alcohol: Patricia, who once hoped to become a model, gained four stone and was left with a blotchy, puffy face through drinking 350 units of alcohol a week

When, aged 35, she met her partner Graham, now 42, in a pub, she couldn't hide her addiction: Graham, an engineer, was teetotal.

Graham's mother had been an alcoholic, and he persuaded Patricia into rehab - but as soon as she got out she headed straight to the off-license and bought a bottle of wine.

'We had huge rows and split up for a few months. But he took me back. I became a zombie, existing only for drink. I gained four stone and my face was blotchy and puffy.'

Despite attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and being admitted into rehab twice over the next four years, Patricia visited the doctor last November - after much persuasion by Graham - and was told her liver was seriously damaged.

"Drinking five bottles of wine a DAY left me on life support." Alcoholic warns of binge drink danger
What a waste: Patricia was spending all her money and time drinking wine, and now regrets not having had a career or any children
She was taken to hospital with cirrhosis and collapsed: while she was on life support Graham was told there was a five per cent chance she'd survive. A priest came to read her last rites.

But against all the odds - and after a 10-week stay in hospital - Patricia was released. Despite her ordeal, the first thing she did upon release was buy wine. Luckily, she was disgusted with herself for doing it, and has been sober ever since.

'At the moment, doctors are happy with my progress, but my life expectancy will be affected. My liver is so scarred, iot will slowly stop functioning.'

A scan in October will determine whether or not Patricia needs a liver transplant.

'I feel so guilty about the hurt I've caused those closest to me, I'll always regret not having a career or children.'
"Drinking five bottles of wine a DAY left me on life support." Alcoholic warns of binge drink danger


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