Shared Stories

I was a victim of alcohol poisoning and hazing at a fraternity back in 1982

When I saw your story on one of my favorite TV shows, CBS Sunday morning, it hit so close to home and my own personal story. I was a victim of alcohol poisoning and hazing at a fraternity back in 1982. I am now 48 years old and a survivor. I was given a second chance at life and always have tried to live my life under this premise. I was a young sophomore, college athlete tennis player at a Division 1 school which should remain unnamed and was for the most part a non drinker. I decided to join a frat and was looking for a social outlet to my already busy athletic and academic schedule.

One night at a party at the frat, it was a hazing event and I thought I could handle the challenges put before me. The only problem is that once a person has a few drinks, their ability to reason is gone. Each successive drink is like drinking water. Shot after shot was put before me and I unknowingly drank them. Later in the night, I passed out and the next time I awoke was in a hospital, a day later after being in a coma for ten hours. When I awoke, a group of people were standing over me, including the doctor, and his first words to me were, "welcome, you're lucky to be alive." I was still groggy and my eyes welled up with tears upon hearing the gravity of his comment. I was alone far from home and my parents had been called but told I would make it.

My life was only saved because two frat students who had returned from trying to go to a bar that was ultimately closed for the night because it was so late, returned to the frat to witness others just putting me down to sleep it off. Fate in life works in incomprehensible ways and this night, these two boys returned to realize I needed to go to the hospital. Without that ride, I would have died at 19 years old. I would never have had a family of three children, been married and contributed to thousands of happy recipients of orthopaedic devices that I have sold over the last 20 years. Now I am ranked #17 in the United States in the 45 year old singles tennis division and my children are soon on their way to college themselves. We will be sure to discuss the tragedy that can arise from social events centered around drinking.
I do occasionally drink a beer or a glass of wine but am very afraid of alcohol's dark side. The intention is never to get drunk or get behind a wheel but the body cant reason after two or so drinks and good decisions are out the window.

I survived a night of hazing and drinks being put before me, and I wish I could've said no after a few, but I was not of sound mind. I was given a second chance to live at the age of nineteen and will always be grateful for the opportunity to fulfill my destiny. Your organization is based on tragedy but it will prevent many more and in that you should feel some solace. I relate very closely to this cause as I woke up the following morning and was given an inexplicable second chance. A chance to add my mark to the world in whatever small way, but also given the chance to bring three beautiful children into the world who will surely add their mark to this world.