Former Pop Idol contestant and Westend star Darius Campbell has revealed he nearly lost his life due to drinking water from the River Thames as part of a demonstration for the bottle top filter by charity Fresh2o.
Darius was filming a promotional advert for the filter but was unaware that he had a prototype model and not a real filter. He drank water from beside a sewage outlet believing 99.9% of the bacteria would be removed by the filter.
He explains that “When I went to see my mum for her birthday I collapsed. Turned out I had a cerebral oedema and bacterial Meningitis where your brain swells bigger than your skull. My immune system was left so low that I could have picked up anything going around".
The singer went into a coma and was bed bound for three months before being healthy enough to get back on his feet. After doctors worked out the cause of his illness he was shocked and worried that the water filters didn’t work, and people were using them. However, Fresh2o confirmed he had drank from display unit with no filter.
Darius saw the positive in this and has said, “In an inadvertent way, I proved the water filter worked because the others who drank from a bottle with a filter in it, didn’t get sick. That was the silver lining.”
The star, along with actress Keira Knightley and F1 driver Lewis Hamilton, is an ambassador for Fresh2o which builds wells in Africa and is keen to share his story to prove how risky untreated water can be and that by filtering properly, you can safely drink water from an incredible number of sources.
Leading filtration brand LifeSaver has shared some top tips for making sure you are water safe when looking for a suitable drinking source. Along with using their new 2in1 water bottle and pump they have come up with the SAFE guide to make sure you don’t end up in a near fatal situation like Darius.
- Source – Always collect water from as close to its source as possible, this minimises the risk of any contamination due to dead animals, droppings, pesticides etc.
- Attention – Make sure that you pay attention when filtering water – keep any containers for filtered water or a drinking spout well away from untreated or dirty water to avoid cross-contamination.
- Filter – However clean water looks, filtering it is essential to minimise the risk of ingesting harmful cysts, bacteria or viruses. Check your equipment covers you against all dangers before heading out.
- Error-free – Don’t risk errors when it comes to water as one mistake could land you in A&E – chose a fail safe filter option like LifeSaver’s Liberty bottle. The fail-safe design means that once it stops working, the filter needs replacing. It won’t allow unclean water through the system.