British Woman Dies After Years of Drinking 330 Units of Alcohol Per Week

By McCarton Ackerman 01/05/15

A British mother of two has passed away from liver failure after decades of heavy alcohol abuse.


Liverpool native Vicky White, 38, passed away last July, but her story is only now going viral after her two children, 17-year-old Jack and 17-year-old Mia, just spent their first Christmas without her. She began drinking heavily as a teenager and during her worst period of alcohol abuse, around 2011, she nearly died after drinking half of a bottle of vodka for breakfast and five bottles of wine every day.

“Vicky didn’t want to drink and she tried so hard to stop, but it just controlled her. She became a different person,” said her partner, Steve Hough. “She didn’t have alcohol secretly stashed around the house. There was no pattern to her drinking other than she would just hammer it for five or six hours at a time. Her eyes and skin were yellow and I was really worried about her.”

Although she managed to stop drinking during both of her pregnancies and both of her children were born perfectly healthy, alcohol consumed White’s life. She was rushed to the hospital in the spring of 2011 and diagnosed with both liver failure and acute kidney failure. Doctors removed 42 liters of fluid from her organs, leaving her about 70 pounds lighter.

“Vicky was so bloated that it took 22 firemen and paramedics to get her down the stairs,” said Hough. “They had to dismantle the banisters and take the back door down. It was humiliating for her.”

She tried to quit drinking several times for the sake of her children, but relapsed each time. But after being admitted to the hospital once again in July, she slipped into a coma and several major organs, including her liver, failed completely. Her life support was eventually withdrawn and she passed away with her family at her side.

White’s oldest son, Jack, has stopped drinking completely because “he’s seen what damage it can do.” Hough is now hoping that her tragic story can be a lesson to help others.

“I feel absolutely lost. I didn't know how to help Vicky when she was alive, and I certainly don't know how to carry on now she has gone,” he said. “She was our whole world. I know she tried so hard to stop drinking and I can't feel angry or resentful towards her. I just feel a terrible sadness.”

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.