Hannah Powell was left blind and suffering from kidney failure after consuming a drink spiked with a different type of alcohol while vacationing in Greece.
The British woman collapsed just over a week ago on the Greek island of Zakynthos where the twenty year-old was spending time with friends.
Hannah is currently in the ICU in Patra, where she is undergoing tests and treatment. Her parents Christine and Derek Powell have flown in from Middlesbrough to be with their daughter at the hospital. Neither Christine nor Derek made a comment regarding their daughter’s condition.
Laganas, a bay-front destination on the island, is popular for vacationers, and is well-known for being a tourist attraction for its stretch of bars. Hannah had reportedly been enjoying cocktails in the area with friends. After the night of drinking, she was said to be feeling fine, and then slept for 48 hours. However, when she awoke from sleeping, she wasn’t able to see.
The medical staff in Zakynthos transferred Hannah to the hospital in Peloponnese for more treatment. She has said to have made progress since she was admitted to the hospital, but it’s still unknown if her sight will return, as well as if her kidney function will return to normal.
Hannah is reported to have suffered from the effects of methanol poisoning – something that has been more and more common in Greece. Methanol is a synthetic version of alcohol (ethanol) that is a highly poisonous chemical and is produced synthetically. Clubs in Athens have been using cheap liquor that contains the toxic ingredient, and the club Hannah went to in Laganas could fall under the same category. Doctors suspect the methanol may have been a catalyst for Hannah’s dire condition, but say that alone couldn’t have caused the full reaction.
Doctor Dimitris Goumenos, head of the Kidney Clinic at the University Hospital in Patra said that when Hannah was admitted, she was nearly blind. He said Hannah’s condition is more serious than methanol poisoning alone, and that he recommends her to stay at the hospital in Patra instead of flying Britain with her parents for more treatment.
The island of Zakynthos is a destination for young couples and families to enjoy the scenery and relax, but the village of Laganas is a hot spot for young people and students who want to have a night out on the town. The area boasts many restaurants, clubs, and souvenir shops. Although most leave the area with good memories, for Hannah – they will be anything but.
Here’s a video with some great tips for staying safe if you do choose to drink:
We hope that Hannah will be able to travel home to Britain and will continue to improve. Our thoughts will be with her and her family as doctors administer tests and treat her conditions.
Sources: Daily Mail