John Wells, executive producer of the long-running television drama “E.R.” incorporated the alcohol-poisoning death of his 17-year-old niece into the series finale, Fox News reported April 2.
In the final episode, “And in the End, Part 1&2,” which aired April 2, 2009, a doctor treats a young teenager admitted for alcohol poisoning after playing drinking games with friends.
Wells’ niece, Shelby Lyn Allen, died after drinking with two other teenagers at a friend’s home and drinking just 8 ounces of vodka. Though her friends propped Shelby up in a bathroom to keep her from choking, Shelby’s friends found her dead the next morning.
“What seems like teenage fun can actually be warning signs for a significantly dangerous medical situation,” Wells said.
Shelby’s parents have started Shelby’s Rules, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness about alcohol poisoning.
“We’re just trying to make young people, teenagers — really, anyone — understand that they may be used to seeing someone throwing up at a party, but they need to be aware that if you can’t rouse them, they may have crossed that line into a medical emergency,” said Shelby’s father, Steve Allen.