Cassondra Reynolds husband energy drink habit demise: A California widow comes forward to warn of the dangers of caffeine & sugar & other additives.
A mother-of-three whose husband died of a heart attack in what she believes was the result of drinking one energy drink a day has come forward in the hopes of educating the public, after a doctor once telling her the habit being akin to ‘playing Russian roulette with your life’.
Cassondra Reynolds, 49, from California lost her ‘soul mate‘, husband of ten years and the father of her three children when he suddenly suffered a cardiac arrest in 2011, aged 41 according to the dailymail.
As a mechanic, John Reynolds often worked nights and would reach for an energy drink at the beginning of every shift to keep him alert – not realizing the dangers, the man’s wife said.
Told Cassondra: ‘He was my only family, he was my everything and he was my soul mate and now he’s gone.’
Matters came to a head when John Reynolds on the morning of February 5, 2011, went into cardiac arrest, and was rushed to hospital, where he was put on a life support machine after suffering serious brain injury.
The 41 year old father of three who doctors said had the heart of a 25-year-old, was put into a medically induced coma at the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit.
Cassondra said: ‘John was healthy, he worked out every day, he had had a full physical examination the month prior and all his results came back fine.
‘When he went to the hospital, the doctor told me that his sugar levels were sky high and were asking me all sorts of questions about his lifestyle, whether he took drugs and if he had any health issues.
‘He was put in a medically-induced coma and a therapeutic state of hypothermia to try and prevent any further damage to his brain caused by a lack of oxygen.’
By February 19 John was pronounced brain dead and Cassondra was left with the heart-wrenching decision to turn his life support off.
‘Eventually, the doctor asked me if he drank energy drinks which I replied yes, but only once a day. He immediately explained that it only takes one energy drink to throw off the rhythm of your heart causing a heart arrhythmia,’ she said.
Some two weeks after having gone into cardiac arrest, Cassondra Reynolds made the unenviable decision to turn off her husband’s life support machine off after John having been declared brain dead.
‘I want people to know how dangerous these drinks are, and I need people to speak out…’
Nine years on from her husband’s death Cassondra is raising awareness of the damage even one energy drink can do – because the mix of sugars and caffeine with other additives can be too much for the heart.
Reiterated Cassondra: ‘I want people to know how dangerous these drinks are, and I need people to speak out about losing their loves ones because it happens all the time, you just don’t hear about it.
‘The doctor told me that drinking energy drinks is like playing Russian roulette with your life and that really stuck with me.’
Adding: The head cardiologist came out and told me: ‘Your husband is a very fit man and his heart is strong like that of a 25-year-old.
‘It’s not normal for a healthy 41-year-old who doesn’t drink or smoke, who has what appears to be a strong heart and just had a physical with no findings, to suffer a cardiac arrest. We need to find what caused this.’
He asked Cassondra about the kind of foods John ate and what medication he was on. Finally he asked whether he drank energy drinks.
She added: ‘I told him that yes he does, but only once a day before he goes to work because he has to work night shifts.
‘They began to put the pieces together, but I still couldn’t believe that one energy drink could cause this much pain.’
After four days of being in the hospital, Cassondra was told that her husband had an anoxic brain injury caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain and had a long road of recovery ahead of him.
John’s brain continued to seize and 14 days after he was first admitted into the hospital, he was pronounced brain dead.
Standing up to energy drink companies:
Almost a decade later Cassondra has launched the Awareness Project which aims to educate people on the dangers of energy drinks and pre-workout supplements.
‘If you suspect that your loved one has had an adverse reaction to these drinks, report it to your governing food agency,’ she added.
‘These drinks are not tested enough and there is no age limit in the US for who can buy these drinks.
‘It’s important people understand the dangers do not lay solely with the high caffeine and sugar content.
‘It’s the synergistic effect when these substances are combined with the additional stimulants contained in energy drinks that appears to be causing so many cardiac issues.
‘I have heard so many horror stories from parents whose children have died as a result of these drinks yet less than one per cent of energy drink related adverse effect and deaths are reported.
‘I don’t want anyone to go through what me and my children have had to go through these past nine years, it doesn’t get any easier you just learnt how to cope with it’.
The group that Cassondra started, ‘Energy Drink and Pre-Workout Awareness’, currently has 11,000 members on Facebook.
Reads one of the group’s post: ‘The Awareness Project is sending good luck to the Connecticut students of City Hill Middle School and all those who will be testifying tomorrow, March 3rd in favor of House Bill 5141.
It’s VERY IMPORTANT for this bill to pass. If it passes, it will be the first of it’s kind in the U.S. banning the sale of energy drinks to children. Once the first state is brave enough to stand up to the energy drink companies and the American Beverage Association and put the health and safety of our country’s children before corporate profits … more states will surely follow.’