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Whisky restores eyesight in man after vodka blinds

Last Updated: Sunday, December 2, 2012 - 16:53

Melbourne: A bottle of whisky saved the sight of a 65-year-old man in New Zealand who was blinded after the vodka he was drinking reacted with his diabetes medication.

Denis Duthie, a catering tutor at New Plymouth`s Western Institute of Technology, had decided to have a few drinks to celebrate his parents` 50th wedding anniversary.

However, when he walked into the bedroom of his home in Taranaki, he suddenly found that he could not see anything, `The New Zealand Herald` reported.

"I thought it had got dark and I`d missed out on a bit of time but it was only about half-past-three in the afternoon. I was fumbling around the bedroom for the light switch but ... I`d just gone completely blind," he told the paper.

He hoped he would be able to sleep it off, but after waking the next morning he was still unable to see anything.

Duthie was rushed to Taranaki Base Hospital, where doctors thought he might have formaldehyde poisoning, which is associated with ingesting methanol and can be treated by administering ethanol - the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages.

Doctors immediately decided he needed to go to surgery straight away.
There wasn`t enough medical ethanol available in the hospital, so the registrar nipped down to the local bottle shop and picked up a bottle of whisky.

They dripped the whisky into his stomach through a tube, and hoped for the best.
"I woke up five days later and I could see as soon as I could open my eyes," Duthie said.

Duthie was later told that his illness was caused by the vodka reacting with his medication for diabetes.


First Published: Sunday, December 2, 2012 - 16:53
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