Per 30-year-old Elizabeth Perkins from Derbyshire, the incident happened because while ordering a naturally sweetened Coca Cola from a food place, she accidentally got served the artificially sweetened Pepsi, which then triggered a life-threatening allergic reaction.
"I'd asked for a full fat coke, and stressed that it had to be full fat as usual to the bartender. But once I took my first sip and straight away, I knew it tasted strange, and I could feel the usual sickness start, like I was going to be sick. I instantly felt dizzy and felt the room go dark as my body tried to fight off the allergic reaction,” Perkins recalled in an interview.
She was then guided to a chair before passing out, and was eventually rushed to the hospital, where she entered a three-day coma. The woman has been awake since, and is slowly but surely recovering.
Per experts, Perkin’s rare allergy is unfortunately genetic, which means that her two kids - Matthew, six, and Jacob, two - can have the same reaction to sweeteners, especially artificial ones like that of Pepsi.
In fact, Perkins herself compared that the two already experienced life-threatening experiences at a young age. Matthew allegedly had suffered from a water infection just a few months ago, while Jacob has been diagnosed with a brain tumor that is benign.
"We don't have the enzymes to break down the sweeteners, so it is like instant poison and we will immediately start vomiting and becoming dizzy if we have it . In extreme cases, we could end up in a coma,” Perkins said. “It breaks my heart, especially for the boys. They can't even have birthday cakes like their friends because the icing contains the artificial sugars,” she added.
According to her, the sugar tax in the U.K. made it harder for her to find the right products for her family since everything contains artificial sugars now.
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