Natasha Harris Dies from Cardiac Arrest After Drinking 18 Pints of Coke a Day

| by Michael Allen
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Natasha Harris, 30, died suddenly from a cardiac arrest on Feb. 25, 2010, because she drank up to 18 pints of Coke every day for years, says a coroner's report.

According to the Bussleton-Dunsborough Mail, Harris' partner Christopher Hodgkinson found her on the toilet, slumped over and gasping for air at their home in Invercargill, New Zealand.

A court inquest last year revealed that she drank more than twice the recommended daily caffeine consumption and more than 11 times the recommended sugar intake.

"I found that, when all of the available evidence is considered, were it not for the consumption of very large quantities of Coke by Natasha Harris, it is unlikely that she would have died when she died and how she died," said New Zealand coroner David Crerar.

Additionally, Harris suffered from numerous medical conditions, including a racing heart and missing teeth, which her family said was caused from drinking Coke.

Hodgkinson told the court inquest that Harris was vomiting six times a week, but they believed it was caused by the stress of looking after her eight children and gynecological problems.

"She drank at least 10 litres a day," Hodgkinson said. "As a family we would buy four 2.5 litres a day, the maximum on special. The Coke would be for Natasha to consume over the course of the day."

"The first thing she would do in the morning was have a drink of Coke and the last thing she would do in the day was have a drink of Coke by her bed."

"I didn't ever think about the Coke," added Hodgkinson. "I never considered it would do any harm to a person. It's just a soft drink, just like drinking water. I didn't think a drink's going to kill you. She had been drinking a lot of Coca-Cola over the past seven or eight years."

Harris is estimated to have drunk up to 50,000 pints of Coca-Cola before she died. An autopsy showed that Harris had a diseased liver.

Dr. Dan Mornin told the court inquest that Harris probably had severe hypokalemia, a lack of potassium in the blood, relating to excessive consumption of Coke. He added it was likely the vomiting was due to too much caffeine, known as caffeine toxicity.

Coca-Cola confirmed it hired a security firm after Hodgkinson allegedly made death threats against the company before Harris died.

Coca-Cola's New Zealand managing director George Adams said at the time of her death that Hodgkinson's claims were "patently untrue."

Coca-Cola's latest statement said: "The Coroner acknowledged that he could not be certain what caused Ms. Harris' heart attack. Therefore we are disappointed that the Coroner has chosen to focus on the combination of Ms. Harris’ excessive consumption of Coca-Cola, together with other health and lifestyle factors, as the probable cause of her death."

Source: Bussleton-Dunsborough Mail