Student nearly dies after binge drinking

Student nearly dies after binge drinking

A Belfast student who ended up close to death from hypothermia after a binge drinking session at a city nightclub has told UTV Live Tonight that he regrets his actions.

Nineteen-year-old Robert Kelly drank a large quantity of alcohol during a drinks promotion at the Box nightclub in the Odyssey Arena on Thursday night, which he described as "a moment of madness."The teenager spent the weekend in a hospital bed because he drank too much.Robert made a full recovery and, although he did not want to be identified on camera, he wanted to tell his story to act as a warning to others.On Thursday night, after downing a bottle and a half of wine and around six shots of tequila inside the club, he ended up so drunk he was asked to leave.What happened next is still unclear.Robert said that he was put out at around 11.30-11.45pm, only to be found at around 2.30am lying outside unconscious by a friend who worked for the club. He recognised Robert and, unable to wake him, he called an ambulance.When the teenager eventually came round, it was about 8.30am the following morning and he was in a hospital bed.The doctors told him that he very nearly died of hypothermia."It was just a night gone wrong, too much drink in too short a space of time," the young man said."Who knows what would have happened if I hadn't been found when I was," Robert admitted, adding that he feels "very, very lucky."He said that he takes "full responsibility" for the amount he drank, describing it as "pure stupidity."However, he told UTV that cheap drinks promotions were "too easy to resist."But he believes that they should be limited - not banned.Robert said that his actions had caused a lot of distress for his family.The young man believes he could have suffered the same fate as his young cousin Joby Murphy, who died in January 2012 after a similar night out.The 20-year-old fell into the river at the weir near the Odyssey Arena after he and his girlfriend had gone to a Snow Patrol concert.His remains were not recovered from the river until weeks later, after sonar detection equipment was brought up from Co Cork by his family to take part in the search effort.Robert's father John is angry at his son, but believes the club must shoulder some of the responsibility.He told UTV: "The answer is no more cheap drink."Yes, they're over 18. I didn't let my son drink until he was 18."My son knows he's done wrong."John added that while Robert made a mistake, he feels that he should not have been thrown out to the elements."I touched his arm in hospital. He was just like a dead body - a piece of ice."Alan Mains, a security consultant for the Box, said all that could be done was done."Four hundred and forty eight people were there that night and enjoyed themselves and two were put out. I think that puts it into context."He continued, saying the club "takes their responsibility very seriously."Meanwhile, Robert has this message for young people."Just be careful when you're out, stay in a group, never go off on your own."Don't binge drink - definitely don't."


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