In the summer of 2014, Lanna Hamann travelled to Mexico for a vacation with friends and their parents. No one would have believed that their holiday would have unfolded as it did.
One day, as she lay on the beach, Lanna suffered a sudden cardiac arrest. All attempts at resuscitation and medical help were in vain. She died that evening.
At first, her death was a total mystery. Lanna was a healthy, happy girl: an athlete who loved to be active. She was a good softball player and had no health problems. Nothing to indicate that she would die in this way.
After she had processed the news herself to some degree, Lanna's mother Kris went public with some shocking information: on the day of her death, Lanna had not drunk any water. Instead, shortly before her fatal cardiac arrest, she had drunk a Red Bull energy drink.
Heart specialist Jack Wolfson confirmed Kris's hunch. Lanna had regularly consumed energy drinks. She was literally addicted to them.
Too much caffeine and sugar, the primary ingredients in the popular drinks, can be dangerous in high concentrations, even for super-healthy people such as Lanna. "There is medical evidence that these things do harm; they can cause changes in the heart rhythm, and impact blood pressure," Wolfson said.
Kris says that the tragic death of her daughter could happen to anyone, anywhere. She hopes that her story can help prevent similar tragedies in the future.
Lanna's untimely death could achieve something positive if it inspires others to take better care in their overall eating and drinking habits.
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