October 18, 2017 – Greek Island of Santorini

Valerie Jones was on Holiday with her husband Nigel on the Greek Island of Santorini celebrating a respite from her breast cancer treatment. According to her husband the afternoon started with some wine on a sightseeing tour, at lunch, then a bit more with dinner. After dinner the couple met a couple who were celebrating a wedding. Mr. Jones retired early, leaving his wife Valerie socializing and enjoying more wine with the couple from the wedding party.

After a few hours of sleeping, Mr. Jones became concerned that his wife was not yet in bed. At around 2 AM, he returned to to the area where he had left his wife socializing with the wedding party. There he was told that his wife had collapsed in the bathrooms. The 54-year-old Mrs. Jones was rushed to the Santorini General Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. An initial post mortem on September 27, 2016 performed at the hospital in Greece listed her cause of death as pulmonary oedema, fluid on the lungs. In October 2017, The Dorset coroner Rachael Griffin ruled her death was due to acute alcohol toxicity based on a report by Pathologist Dr. Kudair Hussein.

In his report to the Bouremouth Coroner’s Court, Dr. Kudair Hussein concluded that Mrs. Jones had likely died from alcohol poisoning. He told the UK Newspaper Mirror, Dorset coroner Rachael Griffin” When blood alcohol levels go above 350mg per 100ml, it is not unknown that people can die suddenly. My report showed Mrs. Jones had 358mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. On the balance of probability, you can conclude this was the cause of her death.”

The coroner’s inquest into the death of the 54-year-old Mrs. Jones, mother of a nineteen year old daughter and a professional surveyor, suggests that binge drinking was the cause of this death, noting that her blood alcohol level was 8 x the amount for which a person would be arrested for drunk driving. Dr. Sarah Jarvis, clinical director of patient.co.uk, used the corner’s report on the death of Valerie Jones to warn pf the consequences of binge drinking.

Although it is very true that binge drinking can lead to death from alcohol toxicity another scenario might account for the death of Valerie Jones. Testifying at the Corner’s Court, Nigel Jones could not say exactly how many drinks his wife consumed during the fateful day of September 26, 2016. He noted that his wife did not have an on going drinking problem and the wine consumption throughout the day on the second day of their trip to Santorini began before noon. Mrs. Jones was rushed to the hospital slightly before 2:00 AM suggesting that her alcohol consumption was over a 14-hour period.

Alcohol poisoning leads to death on Greek Island. Binge Drinking Wine or Fake Alcohol could be the cause. Click to Tweet

We do not know how many or what kind of alcohol Valerie consumed from the time her husband went to bed until he awoke a few hours later, however a blood alcohol level of 358mg of alcohol per 100ml is not easy to achieve. It could very well have been the result of binge drinking, in which case it is a prudent warning by Dr.Jarvis.  Over a 14-hour period for a woman of average weight, 150 lbs., she would have to consume around 25 – 30 glasses of wine, or many glasses of wine followed by many glasses of liquor. Neither scenario was testified to by Nigel Jones. The corners inquest does not mention the kind of alcohol that brought Mrs. Jones blood alcohol level to over 8 x the drunk driving levels.

What has been reported on the Greek Islands, a favorite tourist destination of the British, is a preponderance of fake alcohol. In the Fall of 2016, around the same time as the Valerie Jones incident, 20-year-old Hanna Powell ended up in a Greek Hospital after drinking methanol laced fake alcohol on the Greek Island Zante. Binge drinking is a genuine problem, and it might have been the cause of Valerie Jones’ death, however drinking fake alcohol with an unknown proof of methanol alcohol can also kill you faster than drinking the equivalent of certified alcoholic beverages.  You wouldn’t need to consume a large quality of methanol laced liquid to die from alcohol toxicity.

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