The doctors told the family that the 35-year-old woman, Ashley, reportedly died after drinking roughly 64 ounces of water in just 20 minutes. Police officials released a statement, saying that she died from water toxicity, the process of depleting one’s body of electrolytes, following an outing over the weekend. According to the health experts, water toxicity happens when one drink too much water too fast. The effect is to overwhelm one’s own body’s complex organ systems, primarily the kidneys, to regulate the balance of fluids. The effect is to dilute one’s own body of sodium, potassium, and chloride, which regulates proper cell function.
On the last day of her trip, the mom of two had told family members that she felt lightheaded and had a headache, symptoms of dehydration and incredibly thirsty. Despite rapidly drinking 64 ounces of fluid, no amount of water could satiate her thirst. Ashley drank the equivalent of four 16oz (500ml) bottles. When the woman returned home, she collapsed in her garage, having suffered severe brain swelling. The mom of two never regained consciousness.
At the hospital, doctors diagnosed her with water toxicity, also called hyponatremia, which develops as a result of there being too much water in the body and not enough sodium. When Devon, Ashley’s brother, heard of his sister’s condition, he was in disbelief, telling WRTV: ‘It was a big shock to us all. I was just like, this is a thing?’ Adding: ‘She just felt like she couldn’t get enough water… When they left the sand bar to when they got to the dock, it was about a 20 minute boat ride … she drank four bottles of water in that 20 minutes. That’s half a gallon. That’s what you’re supposed to drink in a whole day.’
Recalled the brother: ‘My sister, Holly, called me, and she was just an absolute wreck. She was like “Ashley is in the hospital. She has brain swelling, they don’t know what’s causing it, they don’t know what they can do to get it to go down, and it’s not looking good”‘. Ashley never regained consciousness and doctors diagnosed her with water poisoning, or hyponatraemia. The condition occurs when someone consumed an excessive amount of water in a narrow window of time, which overwhelms the ability of the body’s complex organ systems, primarily the kidneys, to regulate the balance of fluids.