Eggnog-chugging contest sends Lehi man to hospital

Posted at 8:43 PM, Dec 23, 2014

LEHI, Utah - Having a glass of eggnog is in keeping with the holiday season, but a few too many sent a Lehi man to the hospital after a chugging contest did not end well.

Ryan Roche spent three days fighting double lung pneumonia after downing the eggnog at his company’s holiday party two weeks ago.

“I pretty much just opened up my throat and just poured it down,” said Roche. “I didn’t take a single breath the entire time.”

In 12 seconds, he finished off a quart of the drink, beating out his colleagues. However, minutes later, he had little to celebrate.

“I couldn’t get air,” Roche explained. “I started clearing my airwaves, and I basically was aspirating eggnog.”

Emily Roche, who had been filming the contest, noticed her husband was struggling to breathe almost immediately.

“It was scary,” she said, “We had no idea what was happening.”

Roche was admitted to the hospital later that night, where they began treatment for a lung infection.

“I’m on oxygen. I’m on double IV,” said Roche. “They have me hooked up to the nuclear weapon of antibiotics.”

After 72 hours, he finally started to pull through.

“When he was in the hospital, I’m like, ‘Don’t let this ruin Christmas, whatever you do. We’ve got two weeks, pull out of this,’” said Emily Roche.

Two weeks later, Roche is back to normal.

“It’s one of those things where your competitiveness gets the best of you and now I look like an idiot, right?” said Roche.

The contest did earn Roche a $50 gift card; however, it’s not something he would compete for again.

“People ask me, `Are you ever going to drink eggnog again?` Maybe someday I`ll venture out and have a sip.”