Hanna Lottritz is very lucky to have been able to celebrate her 21st birthday. Doctors had feared she was brain dead after a night of heavy drinking.
Fortunately, Lottritz came out of a 24-hour coma and has recovered, thanks in a big way to friends who sought medical help rather than letting her "sleep it off".
Now the US journalism student from the University of Nevada has written about her experience in the hope it will convince others to drink responsibly.
She posted the article, the day of her 21st birthday, explaining why she wouldn't be celebrating with "birthday shots and getting wasted".
"I am writing this because I didn't realise the importance of drinking responsibly until I was waking up from a coma, and I don't want anyone to go through what my family and I went through," she said.
The drinking that nearly killed Lottritz happened one night in July at a music festival. She found herself among a group of mainly male friends and "a competitive person by nature", she asserted that she could outdrink them.
"Around 11.30pm, one of my guy friends and I were seeing who could take the longest chug from a bottle of Black Velvet whisky," she wrote.
She has no memory of what happened soon after that, so her understanding of the next 24 hours is based on what others have told her. Apparently, as well as drinking from the bottle, Lottritz also drunk a disposable cup full of whisky.
"Immediately after this I told my friends I felt fine, and about five minutes later I collapsed," she said. "I wasn't breathing. My friends picked me up and started carrying me to the medical tent."
A tube was put down her throat and she was flown to a hospital in Reno. She was in critical condition, with acute respiratory failure and acute alcohol intoxication.
"The doctors thought I was brain dead because I was completely unresponsive," she said.
"I finally woke up about 24 hours after I arrived at the hospital. I had a tube down my throat and my hands were restrained so I couldn't pull it out."
Doctors and nurses told her they had thought she wouldn't make it through the night.
"They asked me if I was trying to kill myself by drinking so much. This question hit me the hardest," Lottritz said. Her attitude to alcohol was changed forever.
"This situation could have been so much worse. Fortunately for me, I had good people around when all of this took place. I could have easily been taken advantage of when I passed out. I could've been left alone to 'sleep it off'," Lottritz said.
"I can't tell you how many times I've heard the phrase, 'Let them sleep it off, they'll be fine in the morning,' but I'm alive today because my friends got me help," she said.
"Don't take a chance if you see a friend passed out from drinking too much. Get them help as soon as possible."