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‘I was downing 28 pints and bottle of vodka a day until I had two hours to live’

An out-of-control alcoholic was downing an astonishing 28 pints and a bottle of vodka a day.

Ashley Varley, 38, only stopped when doctors gave him two hours to live.

The Oldham-native found himself just hours away from death, after one of his daily binges, the Manchester Evening News reports.

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His spiral into alcohol addiction started when he was just 17, and it usually happened on payday.

He began having a few drinks after work, which then turned into him missing work because he was so drunk and didn't even know his own name.

“My mum died from alcoholism. I hated drink when I was a kid, but somehow, I ended up being an alcoholic myself.

"My family wouldn’t speak to me, I fell out with all my friends. All I was bothered about was drinking – from the moment I opened my eyes, I was drinking every day.

“I had to otherwise I would be sweating and shaking. Towards the end, if I didn’t drink within six hours, I would be fitting. I hated drinking but I had to drink to function – I would have fits in the street.

“I would just be sitting in the front room watching telly and order drinks to my door.

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“I didn’t think it could get any worse, then I started hallucinating and having fits.”

Ashley spent around 10 years in and out of rehab, while also suffering regular seizures, hallucinations and his skin turned yellow.

Sadly, he also tried to end his own life three times – that was until October, 2021 when he hit rock bottom.

Having been rushed to hospital after another seizure, he was told that his kidneys were “giving in”.

“I woke up in that bed (in hospital) and I thought, ‘I give up trying to drink successfully (by gradually reducing the amount he consumed); I don’t want to drink again’,” he recalled.

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“I’ve lost everything and it hurts and I can’t get it back. I can’t make up for what I’ve done.

“This is the best I’ve felt for a long time; my kids are happy they’ve got their dad back, and my sister and my dad didn’t think I would come out of the hospital. My dad was crying to my sister and my dad never cries.

“Somehow, I’ve managed to overcome all that so far. I’m hopefully showing people that there’s a way out. I am walking proof that it can get better.”

For emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email [email protected], visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.

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