A young alcoholic shown drinking himself to death on a Louis Theroux documentary has revealed he has been sober for a year.
The plight of Joe Walker, 32, reduced viewers to tears as he was shown walking out of hospital, covered in blood, to buy vodka after being told his alcoholism would kill him.
The former university medical researcher was among several alcoholics followed by Louis Theroux for his BBC film ‘Drinking to Oblivion’.
Joe’s battle with drink moved many people who watched in horror as he gave up drink only to relapse catastrophically, which left him on the brink of death and out of work.
But a year on he is still off the booze and reunited with his friends and family after his drinking left him alone and close to death.
Mr Walker is still in touch with Louis Theroux and met with him recently, and revealed people who watched his plight on screen still hug him in the street.
He told Buzzfeed: ‘It has been an incredible year. I got my family back in my life, friends have been incredible and shown me nothing but love.
‘The reaction after the show was incredible. I think it changed my life, because I saw that I wasn’t judged. The reaction to the show was so overwhelmingly supportive that it helped me begin to accept myself and what had gone on.
‘I’ve been hugged in the street, people shake my hand, and I’ve had the most beautiful messages through social media. It’s amazing how something can draw such love and humanity out of people. It’s incredibly humbling.
He added: ‘I feel free, because there are no secrets’.
The prime-time documentary he took part him showed the highs of him giving up drink to the moment doctors told him he was drinking himself to death.
In one emotional scene in A&E, the paralytic 32-year-old shared a tearful hug with Louis Theroux and says: ‘I don’t want to be a drunk – I am dying as a person’.
Minutes later he then decides to walk out of hospital to buy booze even though he knows it could kill him.
He said: ‘I like the sensation of it (vodka) going down my throat and I want to experience that for one last time. That’s why I’m leaving’.
At the end of the documentary he meets Mr Theroux in a pier in Brighton where he says he is trying to rebuild his life and is staying off the drink ‘for now’.
Joe had described how he turned to drink after problems at work and in his love life. It was also revealed his late mother had struggled with alcoholism.
The former Kings College medical education employee lost everything to alcohol including his job and his girlfriend and spent months drinking two bottles of vodka a day in bed before collapsing in the street.
He said: ‘I didn’t get the job I wanted and along with a break-up I though s*d it. I think I must have collapsed in the street and somebody obviously thought this guy needs to go to A&E.
‘I was drinking myself to death and there was something in me that didn’t want to die’.
Days later he was released from hospital and Mr Theroux met him at his London flat, where the curtains are stained with blood from a head wound. He says this is a reminder to him to stay sober.
But weeks later he relapses and is found drunk, topless apart from a coat wearing blood-stained jogging bottoms.
Louis Theroux is shown helping to carry him into King College Hospital in South London, covered in blood, after relapsing.
After telling doctors he wants detox he is warned that this is his last chance before he decides to leave the hospital in tears looking fore alcohol.
He says he wants to down vodka and sleep in the park he was staying in after being thrown out of his flat.
After his final relapse it emerged that he had left London and moved in with his father at his family home in Brighton.
Asked if he was able to stay sober he said; ‘For now’, adding: ‘I have felt for a long time that I was on the edge of something, I felt off kilter and with was going at 100mph or not fast enough. But now I feel okay, and that’s nice’.