Mum suffers brain injury after her drink was ‘spiked’ at bottomless brunch

A mum has been left with a brain injury after a suspected spiking at a bottomless brunch and is struggling to walk and talk.

Simone White, 43, was out with friends in Bristol city centre on May 4 when she started to feel ‘very funny’.

She decided to look for her eldest son, who was also out in the city, but collapsed in the street and started having seizures.

Strangers called her family, who took her to A&E, where the seizures carried on.

Simone was discharged the next day and told the side effects would ‘wear off’ but more than a week later she still has slow and stuttered speech and is struggling to walk.

The mum-of-three had a CT scan four days after the incident, and doctors said she may have suffered a functional neurological disorder (FND).

FND means there’s a problem with how the brain receives and sends information to the rest of the body.

Simone White, pictured with her partner George Milis, has been struggling to walk and talk since the incident (Picture: Simone White/SWNS)
Simone White, pictured with her partner George Milis, has been struggling to walk and talk since the incident (Picture: Simone White/SWNS)

Doctors told her it’s a ‘defence reaction’ by the brain, which ‘effectively shut down’ temporarily while she was ‘under the influence of drugs (she) did not knowingly take’.

She is waiting for the results of an MRI to confirm the diagnosis.

Simone, a self-employed cleaner, from Bradley Stoke, South Gloucestershire, said: ‘From my perspective this has been life-altering.

‘Your body is your body and no one has the right to decide what to do with it. I don’t want anyone to go through what I have gone through.

‘There are really long term damaging effects to being spiked.’

Simone said she had been very ‘complacent’ with her drinks on the day she think she was spiked.

‘Who an earth would want to spike a 43-year-old?,’ she had thought.

She added: ‘There needs to be more awareness of the potential.’

She said had gone out for some fresh air when she realised something was ‘very wrong’.

After collapsing she began feeling ‘very agitated’.

She added: ‘I had no control of my body at all. I was having episodes of consciousness an unconsciousness.

SImone, a mother-of-three, said she had 'no control of her body' after she collapsed (Picture: Simone White/SWNS)
SImone, a mother-of-three, said she had ‘no control of her body’ after she collapsed (Picture: Simone White/SWNS)

‘When I was conscious I was gurning, throwing things, going rigid and scratching and clawing.

‘They believe I was having seizures.’

Simone sad her walking has improved but she is still a little unsteady and her gate has changed slightly.

Simone also still struggles with her speech, has spasms and ticks and now feels afraid to go out.

She said: ‘I loved a night out. I love drum and base and festivals. Now it’s made me feel unsafe.’

She is currently unable to work, and doctors have told her not to drive.

Avon and Somerset Police are investigating the incident.

A spokesperson said: ‘We’re investigating an incident in which a woman required hospital treatment in a suspected spiking incident while visiting a bar in Bristol.

She is waiting for CT scan results to see if she has FND (Picture: Simone White/SWNS)
She is waiting for CT scan results to see if she has FND (Picture: Simone White/SWNS)

‘She had been with a friend in Bristol city centre between 4pm and 6pm on Saturday 4 May before falling unwell and being taken to hospital.

‘The incident was reported to police later that evening and enquiries are ongoing.

‘Officers are keen to hear from anyone who has information that could help the investigation, particularly anyone who was at Tonight Josephine in Baldwin Street between 4pm and 5pm on Saturday 4 May.

‘If you have any information please call 101.’

One of the bars Simone visited that day, Tonight Josephine, said they checked CCTV footage, which they also shared with police and ‘at no point does anyone outside of the booking touch any vessel that [Simone] drinks from’.

‘We urge other bars that she visited throughout the night to do the same,’ they added. .

‘It is awful that spiking does happen and we must continue to do all that we can to protect our customers so that they are free to enjoy themselves on their precious nights out.

‘We are devastated to learn of the potentially long lasting effects that this might have on the victim.’

The spokesperson said the venue had spiking kits behind the bar, phone chargers available to the public and staff are trained to work with anyone who feels under threat in anyway.

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Bristol – Metro