Devastated husband’s warning after wife died of alcohol poisoning on holiday

The husband of a tragic NHS worker who died from alcohol poisoning on the first day of their holiday has warned of the dangers of drinking abroad.

An inquest found Paula Bishop, 37, suffered heart failure due to "acute alcohol toxicity" and died in the couple’s hotel room in Fuerteventura, the Canary Islands.

It is thought she did not realise how much alcohol she had consumed.

Distraught husband Stuart told the hearing how during a night on the town his wife of 11 years had drunk a number of small beers, two glasses of wine and around four Irish coffees.

Blood tests she was around eight times over the Spanish drink driving limit and had drank more than the 14 unit weekly limit recommended by the NHS,

Stuart, from Wigan, wants to warn others of the dangers of larger spirit measures abroad.

He told the Daily Star Sunday: "I keep going over that day and wondering how this happened.

"I can’t make sense of it. Paula didn’t seem drunk or unsteady on her feet. She was coherent and chatting away to staff.

"I want people to learn from this. When you’ve been travelling all day, sitting in the sun or feeling tired, alcohol can hit you much quicker.

"In some countries measures aren’t as strictly controlled as they are in the UK."

The couple met in 2004 after bonding over their mutual love of travel.

When they arrived at their all inclusive resort they had some beers by the pool and went out of lunch. In the evening they had a three-course dinner and a nightcap.

They went to bed around 11.30pm and Stuart woke in the early hours to discover his wife was dead.

The coroner ruled Mrs Bishop, of Ince, near Wigan, Greater Manchester, was a victim of alcohol related death but said she and her husband may not have cottoned on to how much alcohol they had taken during the day.

The hearing in Bolton heard Mrs Bishop was a senior assistant technical officer in the pharmacy department at Royal Albert Edward infirmary in Wigan and she and her husband "lived for their holidays".

When the couple went on holiday they had just returned from a trip to Cuba and Mrs Bishop was said to be entirely well.

In a statement Mr Bishop said: "For the remainder of the day, afternoon and evening she was fine, she had a sleep in the afternoon, had something to eat at tea time and was sending pictures to family on her phone and was in touch with loved ones.

"This was a perfect start to what we anticipated would be perfect holiday. She had a few small beers, two small glasses of wine, and three or four Irish coffees – between 10-15 units.

"We went to bed between 10 and 11 and crashed out. I was tired and hadn’t had a sleep in the day time.

"My last memory of Paula was going back to the room – nothing out of the ordinary.

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"She had poured a couple of glasses of orange juice which is something she would usually do if she was preparing to go to bed.

"But I woke up sometime after midnight and found Paula lying on the floor propped up against a chest of drawers. I touched her belly and it was cold and then tried to find a pulse. Her legs had changed colour.

"I ran down to the reception area straight away and brought up a night time security who then alerted paramedics.

"When I first looked at her, I thought straight away that she had passed away and my automatic reaction was to get help.

"I shook her and tried to speak to her but got nothing. Paramedics attended and tried resuscitation but she could not be saved."

"Her death came as an enormous shock – she was a wonderful person who was full of life and will be greatly missed by her friends and family."

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