Shelby's Rules - an Alcohol Poisoning Education Foundation
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Colettte's Story

A very close call  .  .  .  Email from Colette Brantley 9-1-09


When I was a senior in HS my cheerleading team went on a cruise for our competition.. There were only 3 seniors (including myself) who went, so because none of the other cheerleaders wanted to go we had to ask the JV team to go with us.. This NEVER happens because our coach just always thought the girls were a little too young to go.. Anyhow, they get to go and we start practicing our routine.. The cruise was 5 days and everything was perfect!! The competition was the last night on the cruise and we got first place!!! So, that night our coach told us we didn't have a curfew.. I was in the room with my BFF and one other senior... I was the captain so I went around to all the girls and told them not to be up late... We found a group of the JV girls dancing with some boys. They promised us they wouldn't be up late because we had to be off the ship by 8am.. ( we still had 4 days left of vacation) we were going to Universal Studios and all these fun places..

I remember so clearly the next morning.. I had just gotten out of the shower and was blow drying my hair when I got this really loud knock on our door.. One of the girls comes running in saying Colette, I need you, we need your help.. (one of the JV cheerleaders) is passed out throwing up and we can't wake her up.. My first question was how long has she been like this, and did you wake up your parents yet.. She said I was the first person she told.. and she had been like that for awhile now... Ok, so I never ever partied when I was in HS because one, my parents would have killed me, and two, I never wanted to get kicked off the cheer team.. It was my life!! So, when I walked into their room, I couldn't believe what she looked like.. They had her in the bathroom with a hot shower on her.. I was screaming to turn the water on cold... They had no idea to not put someone that drunk in a hot shower.. Her friend was holding her up so she could throw up with her help because she couldn't do it alone.. Her face was white and she was going in and out of conciousness.. The room had throw up ALL over it.. The beds, the floor.. I couldn't believe they didn't go get help.. But at least we were there now.. I ran to my mom's room (at the time she was working for a doctor and he and his family came on the cruise because they were like our second family), anyway, she ran and got him.. He had his medical bag with him and was in there checking her out.. We went and got the girl's mom because she came on the cruise too. The doctor was trying to get her to stay awake but it wasn't working.. We finally got the onboard medical there and they called in a helicopter.. She was airlifted out.. (good thing we were at port and getting off that day because if we weren't I don't know how they were going to get her help) It was so, so, so scary...

I talked to the girls who all got drunk, there were about 6 of them, and they said they didn't want to get in trouble so they were trying to keep it a secret as long as they could.. I couldn't believe it.. We had to be off the ship at 8am and they started drinking at 5am... I found out they got the alcohol from some boys they met.. The same boys they were dancing with that night.. The girl had to get her stomach pumped and was in the hospital for awhile but she was ok...


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