Young dad reveals he drank so much alcohol his skin turned YELLOW ‘like Homer Simpson’


A YOUNG dad drank so much alcohol which turned his skin bright yellow – leaving him looking “like Homer Simpson”.

Mitchell Balzan, 26, battled with booze as he would binge drink on 20 cans of lager and a litre of vodka every day making his skin turn yellow caused by a failing liver.

Mitchell looking yellow caused by a failing liver holding his new born daughter Scarlett

Mitchell, from Toxteth, Liverpool, turned to drink at 19 after he began to suffer with mental health issues, and he numbed his depression with lager.

But what turned from innocent socialising turned a three year downward spiral and by 24 his alcohol addiction limited him to his bed.

His mother Christine, who sadly passed away last year at 55, decided enough was enough.

During December 2015 she noticed Mitchell’s skin had turned a faint yellow colour, known as jaundice – a sign of liver failure.

A family doctor came to see him a few days later, during which time his skin had turned bright yellow, and immediately advised he go to hospital.

Now, he’s sharing his story in a bid to raise awareness for alcoholism and addiction, and hopes to help others with their issues by showing them that it can get better.


Mitchell said: “Looking at the picture I couldn’t believe it – I looked like Homer Simpson.

“After two weeks sober it was plain to see that I was literally bright yellow. I started drinking properly when I was 19, just casually with friends and in a very social setting.

“I didn’t realise at the time that I was becoming reliant on lager, but I knew that if I had a drink it would take the angst I felt away.

“I didn’t connect the dots that it was an actual problem, but by 21 I was drinking 20 cans of lager a day and spending nearly £200 a week on booze.

“After coming home I was unemployed, and it became a vicious cycle. Not working made me feel even more depressed, and to numb the pain I felt I’d just drink.”

Mitchell soon moved on from lager to spirits, and drank a litre of vodka a day with ease after his tolerance built up.

But when his mum Christine saw the yellowish tint to his skin in December 2015, there was no denying that he was causing himself severe damage.

I didn’t connect the dots that it was an actual problem, but by 21 I was drinking 20 cans of lager a day and spending nearly £200 a week on booze.

Mitchell Balzan

He explained: “My mum was telling me over and over that I was yellow but I just couldn’t see it. Friends and family that came to see me said the same thing, but I didn’t think I looked any different.

His mum, who sadly passed away last year, called the family doctor to come and see his skin for himself.

Mitchell added: “He came around a few days later and in that time my skin had gotten brighter and he was so shocked. He insisted I go to hospital and told me if I had another drink I may not live to see Christmas.”

Despite the desperate circumstances, Mitchell still could not let go of his drink and was taking a bottle of vodka, disguised as Lucozade, into hospital with him.

The turning point came for Mitchell after two days in the ICU and a further two weeks in hospital, when Leanne brought baby Scarlett to see him.

What is jaundice?

Jaundice is caused by the build-up in your body of a yellow substance called bilirubin.

When individuals drink too much alcohol, their liver starts to fail, turning the skin yellow.

Some othe causes of jaundice include: gallstones, pancreatitis, hepatitis and sickle cell disease.

Jaundice is common in newborn babies and is usually harmless to them.

Jaundice causes the white part of your eyes to turn yellow as well as the skin.

He said: “Leanne said to me, ‘Look – you have something to live for’, and it really struck a chord with me.

After leaving the hospital, Mitchell steered clear of the drink, resolved to make a better life for himself and his daughter.

“There’s a misconception that people struggling with addiction are totally alone, but it wasn’t the case for me. I had supportive people around me that wanted to help and look out for me but I still felt incredibly lonely.

“My mental health has never been better than it is today, and I ‘m so ready to help others and give back.”

SWNS:South West News Service

Mitchell said his ‘mental health has never been better than it is today’[/caption]


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