17-year-old Shelby Lyn Allen did what most girls age do on the weekends and slept over at her best friend Alyssa’s house. They have been friends forever, so she had no idea that it was the worst night of her mother’s life…
The two were out getting dinner when they got a call from their friend who invited them over.
Once the parents went to bed, the girls started experimenting by drinking alcohol from the family’s open bar.
The girls said that Shelby wanted to drink “15 shots of vodka”, not knowing the dangers of alcohol poisoning.
“I honestly don’t know why she got that number in her head,” Alyssa told Good Housekeeping. “Maybe she saw someone do it at a party. Shelby was an athlete [she played volleyball and was on the cross-country track team]; she had a competitive spirit. We all told her it was a bad idea, but she was determined to make that her goal.”
At 1:58 AM, Shelby had taken the 15 shots then went to the bathroom to puke. Her friends went to check in on her every hour or so to make sure she was okay.
The next morning, Shelby was still passed out on the bathroom floor. In a panic, they called 911..Shelby Lyn Allen was pronounced dead with a blood alcohol level of .33.
Shelby’s mom was heartbroken:
“Shortly before I lost Shelby, we watched Steel Magnolias together; Shelby, the daughter, dies in the movie, and I remember thinking as I watched my dear girl next to me, How could I be without her? I told my Shelby, ‘Don’t ever leave this world before I do; I couldn’t take it again.’ We sat there sobbing together, and she said, ‘Mom, don’t worry; I won’t!’”
Shelby’s mom started “Shelby’s Rules,” an alcohol poisoning education foundation:
“My daughter made poor choices that night, but teenagers make poor choices. It’s our responsibility as adults to help them survive those poor choices.” She continues, “Life gives you two choices when you suffer a tragedy: Give up or move on. I have a husband and another child to love and take care of. I must move on, for their sake if not mine,” Debbie says. “But now I also have a mother’s passion to educate teens about the dangers of alcohol poisoning amid this new culture of binge drinking — a danger many know nothing about, and a danger my family learned about in the hardest way imaginable. It’s not a matter of staying strong; it’s a matter of doing what needs to be done, no matter how you are feeling, no matter how sad you are. I believe — and believed almost right away — this is what Shelby would have wanted me to do.”
If you ever feel like someone has abused alcohol, make sure to call 911 and be safe!