Johanna Pakenham, 53, from Wadwick, Hampshire, a London Marathon runner, was left fighting for her life in a coma, suffering of hyponatremia, after drinking too much water during the race.
She frequently stopped off at water stands dotted along the route. She overloaded her body with more than a dozen bottles of water to cope with the heat and has no recollection of crossing the finish line. After race, she collapsed at home, suffered a seizure, and her partner was forced to perform CPR to keep her alive before the ambulance arrived.
Joanna had flushed the sodium out of her system, resulting in a life-threatening condition. Johanna was then taken to Winchester Hospital and kept in intensive care. ”I remember my dad’s voice in my head saying “make sure you stay hydrated” but without the electrolytes, the water was doing more harm and making me worse, there is such a thing as too much water, which I learnt,” she remembers now, when she is recovered. Joanna completed the race in six hours 35 mins. Hyponatremia is a condition that occurs when the concentration of sodium in blood is abnormally low, causing confusion, vomiting, seizures and comas,because it helps regulate the amount of water that’s in and around body’s cells, causing them to swell. Johanna is a courageous woman. “I’m perfectly fine to go running again,” she says.