Who is Myles Hunwardsen? Man suffers acute liver failure after drinking ‘Real Water’, blames 'alkaline' content
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned people against drinking the alkaline water produced by the brand 'Real Water' in connection to five cases of acute non-viral hepatitis that caused liver failure in Nevada last year. All five cases involved children and infants, who have reportedly recovered. After an investigation was launched by FDA, 12 more consumers filed four lawsuits against the water brand in Clark County District Court against Real Water. And, one of the plaintiffs, Myles Hunwardsen, allegedly had to be airlifted to a hospital to undergo a transplant as he suffered liver failure after drinking the water.
The FDA was alerted to problems with the water bottle brand on March 13 after learning that five children in Nevada, where the company is based, went into acute liver failure in November, requiring hospitalization. Three more children and two adults experienced less severe symptoms, including vomiting, fever, nausea, loss of appetite and fatigue.
"The consumption of 'Real Water' brand alkaline water is the only common link identified among all of these cases to date," the agency said. The government agency has issued a warning to the consumers and businesses to not drink or serve Real Water until the investigation is concluded. They have also said that the water that typically costs $1.89 for a one-liter bottle shouldn't be used for cooking purposes either until their probe ends.
Who is Myles Hunwardsen ad what happened to him?
The most serious allegations against the Real Water brand were made by Hunwardsen, who claims that he was diagnosed with "acute liver failure" in September 2019. The summary of a GoFundMe campaign started by his family states that he became very ill on September 9 and was admitted to the hospital in Henderson NV with sudden acute liver failure. He was reportedly flown to UCLA on the same day and added to the "top of the liver transplant list." He received a donor's liver in September 2019.
His family shared an update on his health condition in October and said he was released from the hospital and was able to walk by himself. "He feels better than ever and he is looking forward to a productive recovery! We appreciate all of the donations, positive thoughts, and prayers. Thank you for your support and kind words everyone," his family wrote. They managed to raise over $7,300 through the campaign.
Real Water founder issues an apology
Brent Jones, the founder, and president of 'Real Water' issued an apology statement to the customers and said the products would be recalled from the market nationwide. He pledged that the company, which is based in Mesa, Arizona was cooperating with the investigation.
"We started Real Water with the intention to provide a healthy product that benefits and elevates people's lifestyles. We are deeply saddened to learn that anything otherwise could be the result. This recall is deeply concerning because you should never have any worry about the safety of any of our products. As the majority owner and offender of Real Water I want you to know that I stand behind every product we sell and safety will always be our top priority," Jones said in his statement.
Real Water, which makes $1 billion in sales annually, advertises itself as the "healthiest drinking water available." The company also claims that the light level of pH in the water "detoxifies" and "hydrate like never before." The packaging indicates that the only ingredients are "purified water and potassium bicarbonate" and that the water "goes through a 7-stage filtration process, including 2-stage reverse osmosis ozone and UV light treatment and other processes."
Meanwhile, FDA said in a statement, "We are working to determine how the alkaline water may be related to the illnesses. Although the investigation is ongoing, epidemiologic information currently indicates that this alkaline water product may be the cause of the illnesses."