A young New Zealand mother of 8 children died suddenly and the probable cause is that she was drinking at least 10 liters of Coca-Cola every day.
Natasha Marie Harris, 30, died suddenly at home in Invercargill on New Zealand's South Coast on February 25, 2010.
The Daily Mail has reported that apparently Harris had an addiction to Coca-Cola, and without it she would get moody and irritable. Her partner, Christopher Hodgkinson has claimed that her death was the result of drinking too much Coca-Cola.
Hodgkinson's mother, Vivian Hodgkinson, said she would go 'crazy' if she ran out of the drink.
At an inquest into Harris' death, her partner said that she had been unwell leading up to her death. Apparently, she had no energy and had been vomiting up to 6 times a week, but it never crossed their minds that Coca-Cola could be the problem.
The family believed she was unwell due to the stress of caring for eight children; she was also suffering from gynecological problems.
Hodgkinson said: 'She drank at least 10 litres a day. As a family we would buy four 2.5 liters a day, the maximum on special. The Coke would be for Natasha to consume over the course of the day."
He continued: "The first thing she would do in the morning was have a drink of Coke and the last thing she would do in the day was have a drink of Coke by her bed."
'I didn't ever think about the Coke. I never considered it would do any harm to a person. It's just a soft drink, just like drinking water. I didn't think a drink's going to kill you,' he said.
Police who are investigating her death, estimated she consumed, on average, seven litres a day.
While an autopsy showed Harris had a diseased liver, the cause of death was undetermined.
However, Hodgkinson said that he had been told that Harris had suffered a heart aneurysm caused by too much Coca-Cola and medical evidence states that the main finding of death was from a cardiac arrhythmia.
Medical expert Dr Dan Morning said at the inquest that Harris probably had severe hypokalemia, a lack of potassium in the blood, relating to excessive consumption of the soft drink. He stated that while it was difficult to confirm this from post-mortem tests, the symptoms of tiredness and lack of energy point to this.
The doctor added that the vomiting was likely due to excess caffeine intake, which is known medically as caffeine toxicity.
Coca-Cola confirmed that in June last year, Hodgkinson allegedly made death threats against the company, due to his partner's death from excessive consumption of their product. The company hired a security firm to shadow its staff. Hodgkinson denies that he made any such threats but that he does hold the company responsible for Harris' death.
George Adams, Managing Director of Coca-Cola New Zealand stated at the time that Hodgkinson's claims were 'patently untrue'.
A Coca-Cola representative in the coroner's court as an observer, told the inquest: "We deeply sympathise with the tragic death of Ms Harris, but we are firmly of the view her death was not due to the purchasing of Coca-Cola."
The inquest continues.