One drink from death: Mother could be facing last Christmas with her children thanks to a three-year booze binge

A mother-of-three won”t be enjoying a tipple during the festivities this year – because just one alcoholic drink could kill her.

Joanne Patterson, 41, turned to the bottle after splitting up from her partner.

She quickly got into a routine of drinking from morning till night and would polish off up to three bottles of wine and numerous cans of lager every day.

Stark warning: Joanne knows her liver may fail at any time and must take dozens of pills a day

Stark warning: Joanne knows her liver may fail at any time and must take dozens of pills a day

“I”d wake up in the morning and start convulsing. But as soon as I had a couple of glasses of wine I was able to function,” she told The Sun.

Ms Patterson, from Sunderland, was soon buying alcohol on every supermarket trip and would not be unable to put the food away until she had opened a new bottle.

She continued to care for her two sons and daughter and assumed she could carry on as she still felt generally well.

However, after three years her body could no longer take the alcohol abuse and her stomach started to swell. She was admitted to hospital where she was diagnosed with chronic liver disease.

“When the doctor said one more drink could kill me I was just mortified. I haven”t touched a drop since,” she said.

Despite Joanne”s total change of heart she has suffered irreversible damage to her liver. She has spent 300 days in hospital over the past 18 months and must take up to 100 tablets a week to keep her condition in check.

Her enlarged liver causes her pain and has made her skin sensitive and itchy.

She said doctors have told her her liver can fail at any time and she will need a liver transplant to survive.

Ms Patterson”s sons are now 21 and 14, while her daughter is seven and she is desperately hoping she will get to see them grow up.

She added that she wanted her case to be a stark warning to others.

“I never thought I would get this much damage from drinking,” she said.

“I have destroyed my life.”