“It was good whiskey, yeah,” Duthie told reporters. “I woke up five days later and I could see as soon as I could open my eyes.”
Alcohol is not normally credited with improving one’s vision, but in the case of Denis Duthie – a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black literally saved his eyesight.
The 65-year-old New Zealand man’s world suddenly went black when his diabetes medication reacted with some vodka that he had been drinking. His vision only returned after quick-thinking hospital staffers administered an expensive dose of whisky. Duthie had been celebrating his parents’ 50th wedding anniversary by having a few vodkas. When he walked into his bedroom later that evening everything suddenly went dark.
Doctors thought he might have had formaldehyde poisoning due to the strong scent of nail polish remover that emanated from his stomach during surgery. Formaldehyde poisoning is usually associated with ingesting methanol and can be treated by administering ethanol – the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages. Having no medical ethanol on hand, the hospital sent a staff member down to the local liquor store. That staff member had the good sense to pick out a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black. Doctors then dripped the whisky – which retails for about $55 a bottle – into his stomach through a nasogastric tube and crossed their fingers.
“I woke up five days later and I could see as soon as I could open my eyes,” Mr Duthie said. “I thought it was pretty bloody good – I’m alive. The hospital was absolutely awesome. Couldn’t have been better.”
The procedure worked due to the fact that the ethanol prevented the methanol from being metabolized into harmful formaldehyde, which often results in permanent blindness.
Once again, booze proves to be incredibly useful. But as always, we here at Hammerstone’s Whiskey Disks remind you to drink responsibly. Do it in moderation and check with your doctor to avoid any medication you may be taking from reacting with alcohol. And lastly, when you do drink, we suggest that you pour your tipple over one of our handcrafted whiskey stones to ensure that you chill your fine liquor without diluting it. Cheers.