MUM OF TWO: ‘My evening tip­ple cost me my health, my job, and my home’

Closer (UK) - - Real Life In The News - By Anna Mathe­son

Clare Hut­ton, 42, C says, “I mar­ried my first husband in my early twen­ties, but af­ter hav­ing our two chil­dren our mar­riage fell apart and we di­vorced in 2009. Be­ing a sin­gle mum and work­ing as a teacher meant I was al­ways very busy and I’d en­joy a cou­ple of glasses of wine most even­ings when the kids were in bed to help me un­wind. Other mums I knew did the same, so I didn’t think any­thing of it.

“A few years later, I met an­other man, but when things turned sour, I found hav­ing a cou­ple of glasses wasn’t enough to help me re­lax and I be­gan drink­ing more – up to two bot­tles a night. But af­ter a few weeks I re­alised I was drink­ing too much and cut down to just a few glasses.

“I con­tin­ued to drink moder­ately but reg­u­larly un­til one night in Septem­ber 2015 when I de­vel­oped ter­ri­ble stom­ach pain. I asked my sec­ond husband Matt, whom I mar­ried in 2012, to take me to A&E, but the doc­tors didn’t know what was wrong and sent me away.

“How­ever, a cou­ple of days later, the pain was so bad I fell into a daze. Matt drove me back to hos­pi­tal and I was taken into a ward, then into re­sus­ci­ta­tion where I blacked out.

“When I woke up, I was told that my liver was fail­ing and di­ag­nosed with cir­rho­sis as a re­sult of drink­ing reg­u­larly. I hadn’t re­alised at the time, but even when I only drank a few glasses it would add up to around 30 units a week – more than the rec­om­mended amount.

“They ex­plained that if I’d con­tin­ued to drink for an­other ten days I’d have died. Even with treat­ment to help me gain back the vi­ta­mins I’d lost and main­tain my fluid lev­els, they said I was un­likely to live to my 60s. I was dev­as­tated be­yond words – and felt so guilty that I wouldn’t be around for my chil­dren.

“I quit al­co­hol, but I was so ill for a year after­wards that I had to give up my job, sell my house – and my kids, who are 13 and 15, moved in with their dad.

“I’m a bit bet­ter now as my liver has re­cov­ered a lit­tle, but I need crutches and a trol­ley to get around as I suf­fer from painful hyper­ten­sion in my stom­ach that’s caused by the scar­ring on my liver.

“Ev­ery day I have to take 26 tablets, in­clud­ing vi­ta­mins, to keep my stom­ach and heart work­ing, and doc­tors warned if I touched an­other glass of wine I’d have to plan my own funeral.

“Last Jan­uary, Matt and I scraped to­gether the money to buy a car­a­van and de­cided to travel around the UK to make the most of the time I have left.

“I just hope my story makes oth­ers re­alise that wine o’clock can se­ri­ously ruin your life. I’d do any­thing to turn back time.” ● Clare sup­ports the Bri­tish Liver Trust – visit Bri­tish­liv­ertrust.org.uk

The mum just be­fore hav­ing a scan at hos­pi­tal

Clare’s mak­ing the most of the time she has left with Matt

Pic­tured here at her wed­ding, Clare used to drink reg­u­larly

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