Ryan Roche was sent to the hospital after quaffing non-alcoholic eggnog at an office holiday party.
The 32-year-old broke his office record for chugging eggnog, but his actions caused an infection in his lungs that sent the resident of Lehi, Utah to the hospital for three days.
Roche had been coaxed by co-workers into participating in the chugging contest. The previous record for employees at his workplace was 22 seconds, but the man drank a quart of commercial eggnog in just 12 seconds. By winning the contest, Roche was awarded a $50 gift certificate to a local steak restaurant.
Competitive by nature, Roche had previously competed in chugging contests, without a problem. This time, he inhaled some of the drink, causing him to bend over in discomfort. Roche told the press he knew right away there was a problem. Eggnog in his lungs led to an infection, leading to coughing and difficulty breathing. Within a few hours, he checked into a local hospital, with the drink clogging his airways.
"Initially I felt very nauseous and pretty sick. After I was put on antibiotics and an IV I was no longer nauseous," Roche said.
Over the next few days, Roche said he felt alternating periods of heat and cold as his body fought the illness. His unusual condition made him a minor celebrity in the hospital, where staff members made light of his illness.
"I can't tell you how many doctors or nurses would walk into my room and say, 'Eggnog, huh?' Then they'd say, 'Well, at least you won,'" Roche told reporters.
Roche told the press that he has not been turned off of eggnog because of what he has gone through following the chugging contest. Although the holiday treat has never been his first choice for a drink, he said he would drink it again, although not on a competitive basis. Roche told reporters his wife, Emily, would not let him compete in such a contest, even if wished to do so in the future.
Doctors believe the infection in Roche's lungs may have developed into pneumonia. He did not feel fully healthy until a week after he was released from the hospital.
"Egg Nog challenge. Earned me a Ruth's Chris gift card and a trip to the ER," Roche wrote on his Facebook page.
As Roche chugged the egg nog, co-workers around him cheered him on, chanting, "Chug! Chug! Chug!"
Aspiration Egg Nog Challenge, a video showing Roche chugging the eggnog and bending over immediately afterward, is available on his YouTube channel.