The mother of a U.K. woman who died after ingesting a fatal number of diet pills is pleading with others to avoid suffering the same fate.
“I didn’t know it at the time, but Ella had bought slimming tablets on the internet,” Eloise Parry’s mother, Fiona, wrote in a statement. “A substance called DNP (2, 4-dinitrophenol) that is unsuitable for human consumption because of its toxicity. She had taken more of these ‘slimming tablets’ than recommended on the pack and had no idea how dangerous they really were.”
Eloise, known as Ella, was a 21-year-old student who died April 12 at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital after consuming diet pills she had purchased online. West Mercia Police are investigating Parry’s death and also believe the tablets contained DNP, a highly toxic and dangerous substance.
“How many of us have ever thought ‘If one tablet works, surely it won’t hurt to take one or two more?’ Fiona said in the statement. “When she started to feel unwell, she drove herself to the hospital and walked into A&E. She explained what she had taken, and there was no great panic because she was still completely lucid and with it.”
Fiona said when a toxicity report came back, doctors realized how dire Eloise’s situation truly was.
“The drug was in her system, there was no antidote, two tablets was a lethal dose— she had taken eight,” Fiona said. Hospital staff tried to stabilize Eloise as the drug kicked in to speed up her metabolism, but they could not make her body cool down.
“She was literally burning up from within,” Fiona said. “When her heart stopped, they couldn’t revive her. She had crashed. She had taken so much DNP that the consequences were inevitable. They never stood a chance of saving her,” she wrote.
Wast Mercia Police Chief Inspector Jennifer Mattinson said a coroner’s report will establish the exact cause of death, but officers urged the public to be cautious about purchasing medicine or supplements over the Internet.
“We are undoubtedly concerned over the origin and sale of these pills, and are working with partner agencies to establish where they were bought from and how they were advertised,” Mattinson said in a news release.
Fiona said her daughter had never intended to take her own life, and that she didn’t understand how dangerous the tablets were.
A spokesperson for Glyndwr University, where Eloise was a student, said she was pursuing a degree in families and childhood studies.
“She was a motivated group member who contributed enthusiastically to all modules, always championing the promotion of positive well-being for children and young people,” read a statement released to FoxNews.com.
“Ella was a popular student with staff, peers, across the university and within placement. She always strived to do her best in everything, and had great potential both academically and in practice. She will be sadly missed by us all. Our thoughts and condolences are with her family and friends at this sad time,” the statement said.
Fiona has been speaking to various news outlets since her daughter’s death to spread awareness about the dangers of diet pills.
“It’s an awful way to die. You know they cause you to overheat; they cause your kidneys to fail,” Fiona told Sky News in a recorded video. “They are dreadful things— it’s not something you want to do to yourself. I wouldn’t wish this on anybody.”