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Woman who drank poison tea released from hospital

Published August 24, 2014 11:41 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Jan Harding, who swallowed tea made with lye at a South Jordan barbecue restaurant, was released from the hospital on Saturday.

University Hospital spokeswoman Marissa Villasenor confirmed Harding was discharged Saturday morning.

Harding's attorney, Paxton Guymon, said in an email: "She still has a lot of tests and procedures to go through, but she is doing much better."

On Aug. 10, Harding, 67, and her husband went to lunch at Dickey's Barbecue, 689 W. South Jordan Parkway. She filled her cup with sweet iced tea. After one sip, she began gagging and coughing.

Her husband, Jim Harding, said his wife sputtered, " I think I drank acid."

She suffered burns to her mouth and esophagus. Doctors at University Hospital had to insert a breathing tube. It was six days before she could speak again.

Within an hour, police have said, employees at Dickey's discovered what had been mixed with the tea: an industrial degreasing solution, mistaken for sugar, comprised of 67 percent sodium hydroxide — the active ingredient in drain cleaner, commonly known as lye.

ncarlisle@sltrib.com

Twitter: @natecarlisle