Shani Clarke was watching her 35-year-old son, Michael Clarke, clean out his truck when she noticed his large collection of energy drinks. She voiced her concern but he shrugged her off and that was the end of their conversation.
A few weeks later, Michael was found slumped over in his vehicle. He had suffered a massive heart attack. Doctors later found out the heart attack had been caused by caffeine toxicity.
On Facebook a heartbroken Shani wrote, “I can’t tell you the pain I felt at that moment, my heart just hit the floor and I sobbed and sobbed. He was cleaning his truck out and I saw he had an armful of the big cans of Mother and I said ‘I hope you’re not drinking too many of them in one go’ which he just shrugged off as we mums know nothing, I didn’t think much more of it at the time.”
After her son’s death in January of 2014, Shani began to put the pieces together. Talking to ABC News Shani revealed that a short while before he passed away, her son complained of indigestion. “The coroner said the indigestion could have been mistaken for a mild heart attack,” she said.
Shani had also noticed that Michael would purchase four-packs of Mother energy drinks, which contain 160mg of caffeine per can. The FDA recommends no more than 400 mg per day. Michael would also drink several cups of coffee when he got home.
Keen on creating awareness and teaching others of the dangers of caffeine after her son’s death, Shani created a Facebook group, Caffeine Toxicity Death Awareness.
Even though Michael died almost 6 years ago, Shani is still working devotedly to inform people about caffeine toxicity.
In 2018, she had a conversation with a woman who drank Red Bull every day.
“Things ALWAYS happen for a reason, my back has been bad this week so got a dog wash lady to come round … and of course the caffeine subject came up and BAM she drinks Redbull every single day! We had a BIG chat and gave her some cards to join the caffeine toxicity group to get help to come off, she has been thinking that she needs to stop but today I gave her the reason to stop…..another one to add to your list Michael Clarke of people you have helped.” Shani posted in 2018.
Please remember to always use caution when consuming caffeine, don’t mix energy drinks with other caffeinated products and if you feel sick stop use immediately.
Remember to share this story to let others know the potential dangers of consuming too much caffeine.