British Tourist Dies After Accidentally Drinking Too Much Alcohol On First Day Of Holiday
A British NHS pharmacy worker has died of alcohol poisoning while on holiday in the Canary Islands, an inquest heard.
Paula Bishop, 37, is thought to have accidentally drunk too much wine and beer while on a pub crawl with her husband Stuart in Fuerteventura.
Paula was found dead in her hotel room later that night, and it is feared that she misjudged the measures given to her by bartenders - with blood tests revealing that she would have been eight times the Spanish drink driving limit.
Husband Stuart explained that she had had a 'few small beers', two small glasses of wine and up to four Irish coffees before they went to bed, and that he had no recollection of Paula being excessively drunk.
Paula, of Ince near Wigan in Greater Manchester, was a senior assistant technical officer in the pharmacy department at the Royal Albert edwardinfimary in Wigan. The Bolton hearing was told how she and her husband 'lived for their holidays'.
The couple were on holiday in Spain last October, having visited a 'number of establishments to have a drink' as they were 'familiarising themselves with the area'.
In a statement, Stuart explained: "For the remainder of the day, afternoon and evening she was fine, she had a sleep in the afternoon, had something to eat at tea time and was sending pictures to family on her phone and was in touch with loved ones.
"This was a perfect start to what we anticipated would be perfect holiday. She had a few small beers, two small glasses of wine, and three or four Irish coffees - between 10-15 units.
"We went to bed between 10 and 11 and crashed out. I was tired and hadn't had a sleep in the day time. My last memory of Paula was going back to the room - nothing out of the ordinary.
"She had poured a couple of glasses of orange juice which is something she would usually do if she was preparing to go to bed. But I woke up sometime after midnight and found Paula lying on the floor propped up against a chest of drawers. I touched her belly and it was cold and then tried to find a pulse. Her legs had changed colour.
"I ran down to the reception area straight away and brought up a night time security who then alerted paramedics When I first looked at her, I thought straight away that she had passed away and my automatic reaction was to get help. I shook her and tried to speak to her but got nothing. Paramedics attended and tried resuscitation but she could not be saved."
"Her death came as an enormous shock - she was a wonderful person who was full of life and will be greatly missed by her friends and family."
Recording a verdict of alcohol related death coroner Tim Brennand said: "Death has arisen because of a single acute overdose of alcohol on a single day on holiday rather than over a long period of time - and I make clear there is no history of alcohol abuse.
"Paula travelled to Fuerteventura with her husband and on that day she consumed a large variety of alcohol. She retired to bed and some time after midnight she was discovered collapsed on the apartment floor.
"This was a much anticipated holiday for this very hard working individual and it was not surprising that she took advantage and enjoyed herself on the first day of her holiday.
"The real tragedy here is that it may well have been that both she and perhaps her husband and partner in life did not appreciate the amount of alcohol taken. This is the tragedy of this particular case.
"Mr Bishop, I cannot bring myself to imagine the enormity of your loss and the shock and panic that you went through. Words cannot do justice."
In a statement after the hearing Mrs Bishop's family said: "The family are grateful that the coroner recognises the tragic circumstances of this case and the fact it was not a problem of drinking.
"What should have been the first day of a well deserved holiday turned into a nightmare that no one would wish to imagine. Paula was a wonderful person and a loving wife who was full of life.
"We hope that the dangers of drinking abroad, where measures are not as controlled, would be considered by other people to avoid similar tragedies like ours."
Featured Image Credit: Cavendish Press