This mother of one probably never thought that her night cap would cost her her life.
Heidi Hopley, a resident of Taunton and mother of one, was having drinks in her home with her partner and never came to bed. Saying that she was going out for a cigarette, Hopley took longer than usual and was eventually found collapsed on the patio the next morning.
Having only three strong drinks of vodka lemonade, her blood alcohol level was five times over the legal driving limit. After further investigation, it was found that she had suffered from alcohol poisoning which ended up killing her.
Medical reports show that Hopley had 380mg of alcohol in only 100ml of blood and the driving limit is 80mg. Doctors have reported that this amount of alcohol is enough to put people in a coma and that those with readings of 300mg or more often end up dying.
According to the math, an average sized woman would have to drink 400ml of vodka within two hours to achieve Hopley’s level.
It was later found that Ms. Hopley was out at the Bridgewater Fair that evening with her friends and family and had half a beer when she got home. While it is impossible to know the exact amount of alcohol that she consumed or if her tendency for high blood pressure played a role, the coroner deemed the death accidental with no suspicious play.
Her partner, Scott Fisher, stated that he went to bed around 12 AM while Hopley said she was going for a cigarette. When he woke up, she wasn’t in the bed and there was no indication that she had been there the entire night.
Finding her slumped over a chair on the patio, next to a lighter and unlit cigarette, the man tried to revive her but was too late.
Fisher says that she poured the drinks herself and while she wasn’t a heavy drinker, she may have been used to drinking higher amounts of alcohol. The coroner also noted that nothing else was found in her system that could have contributed to her death.
Photos: Daily Mail
Ms. Hopley worked at the Brainwave Center and when her friends and colleagues found out about her death, they were devastated. She was loved as a therapist and spent her time over the years helping to start clinics in Japan, Scotland, Finland and Ireland. The people she worked with had a lot of kind things to say about her:
"The best tribute that can be paid is from the center. She was extremely dear to them and they're absolutely devastated — they can't believe it... They called her the kindest girl they have ever worked with and said that she was completely dedicated to the children and families she worked with — they were always at the forefront of her mind."
While her death has surely been a tragedy, it may serve as a reminder that alcohol can be dangerous, even though it is such a normal part of our lives.