'Spiking victim', 25, left unconscious in hospital bed after suffering seizure

·4 min read
Arriving in A&E after having a seizure - Kirsty Howells is pictured arriving in A&E a few hours after blacking out and having a seizure after her drink was spiked  - The incident, which happened in Uplands, in just one in what appears to be an ongoing epidemic of spiking in nightclubs across the country.

Kirsty, who is from Swansea, was out enjoying a drink earlier this month when she was spiked with an unknown substance that left her unconscious. She said she was
Kirsty Howells is pictured in A&E a few hours after blacking out and having a seizure after her drink was spiked (Media Wales)

A 25-year-old who was rushed to hospital after suffering a seizure says she fears her drink was spiked on a night out.

Kirsty Howells had been drinking with friends when she claims she was spiked with an unknown substance that rendered her unconscious. 

The 25-year-old said she was "very shaken'' and now "anxious" about going on a night out.

The incident is one of a growing number reported across the UK in recent weeks.

On Friday, Nottinghamshire Police said that two men had been arrested as part of an ongoing investigation into spikings in Nottingham.

Female students have launched boycotts of nightclubs in cities across the UK.

Speaking about her ordeal, Howells, said: "It's one of those things where you think it's never going to happen to you or someone you know, but it can happen to anyone.

Read more: Is 'injection spiking' the latest threat to women's safety?

Kirsty Howells suffered a seizure after what she believes was a 'spiking incident' at a Swansea nightclub (Media Wales)
Kirsty Howells suffered a seizure after what she believes was a 'spiking incident' at a Swansea nightclub (Media Wales)

"I didn't drink much that night, maybe four drinks in total, and I felt completely fine. I can remember everything up until around 12:30am, and everything after that is completely blank."

Howells was found "laying face down" on a table outside the bar, completely unresponsive.

She said: "Bouncers rang my partner who came to pick me up. I'm really grateful for that, because I have no idea what might have happened had they not helped me."

Kirsty Howells ended up in hospital after drinking just four drinks on a night out (Media Wales)
Kirsty Howells ended up in hospital after drinking just four drinks on a night out (Media Wales)

Read more: Women across the UK say they're being injected with needles in nightclubs and waking up with no recollection of what happened next

On the way home with her partner, Kirsty blacked out and had a seizure. She was then rushed to A&E where she was administered fluids through an intravenous drip as well as oxygen.

She said: "I remember seeing my partner and hugging him. I got into the car and then I completely blacked out again. My partner said that we were halfway home and I started having a seizure, my body was all tense, my eyes were rolled back and my tongue was in the back of my throat making it difficult for me to breathe so he took me to the hospital.

"The staff there were amazing and they put me on an IV drip and oxygen to help me breathe, and they made sure I was well enough before leaving, which I’m really grateful for." 

While at the hospital, Howells said a doctor told her that she was the fourth person they'd seen hospitalised in the past fortnight.

Watch: Student feels 'violated' after suspected spiking injection

She said police and hospital staff offered advice and made her aware of a help point located in Swansea city centre that hands out drink testing strips, 'sober-up' lollies and general first aid.

She later shared a post on Facebook advising other people to use the service when needed, which has been shared thousands of times since. 

Nightclubs in Swansea have ordered 12,500 'StopTopps' anti-spiking lids for drinks, as well as implementing a policy that allows those who think their drink might have been spiked to get a replacement free of charge in the absence of comprehensive drinks testing.

However, an increase in spiking incidents nationally has prompted calls for issue to be tackled, rather than women being forced to take steps to protect themselves. 

A boycott of nightclubs across the UK is planned for next week to protest against drink spiking and call for increased safety measures across venues.

Read More: Schoolgirl, 11, seriously injured after being hit by 'drink-driver' in broad daylight

While Howells has recovered physically from the incident, she says she has been put off drinking and going out, and that her "stomach churns" whenever she thinks of what might have happened had she not been helped.

She said: "When I woke up the next day I was very shaken and my anxiety was so bad because I couldn't remember a thing that went on. I honestly can't imagine what someone's intentions would have been had I not had the help and support that I did and that is what scares me the most. My stomach churns just thinking about it, and to think I was one of the lucky ones is even more terrifying. I'm not a big drinker at the best of times, I'm usually the friend who prefers to drive if I go out."

Since recovering, Howells has pointed out that it's frustrating to get no real answers or solutions to the growing problem other than the help point in Wind Street.

South Wales Police told Yahoo News UK they received a report at 1.42pm on Tuesday October 12 concerning an incident which happened at a Swansea venue on the night of October 1st. They said there was no evidence to confirm that any drinks had been spiked.

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