22 January 2013

Bali - Watch out for poisoned alcohol!

A young Australian woman blinded by a cocktail in Bali is warning others to watch out for nightclubs on the island that lure backpackers with cheap drinks.

Miekaela Krogh, from Berkeley Vale on the NSW central coast, told that she and another friend fell sick after drinking a pair of cocktails at a bar while on holiday late last year. Miekaela was celebrating finishing high school and it was her first time overseas. She said her mother warned her not to accept a drink from someone she did not know or buy a drink off the street or ever leave her drinks unattended. But the 17-year-old did not expect the cocktail she ordered directly from a bar to be laced with bootleg methanol. Within 15 minutes her friend was vomiting as a result of methanol poisoning and hours later Miekaela herself was taken to intensive care at a local hospital.

Her mother flew to Bali to be by her daughter’s bedside as she suffered convulsions and went in and out of consciousness. After a week Miekaela’s vision returned and she returned home. But scarring in her left eye means the teenager has difficulty seeing colors and she sometimes suffers
headaches and blurred vision. Doctors say 85% of her sight has been restored but cannot say if she will get any better. Miekaela urges other young backpackers in Bali to only drink alcohol that comes from a bottle which they see opened themselves.

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