34-year-old David Dowell passed away in ‘absolute agony’ ten days after he ate a gecko at a party with friends.
The father-of-three was taken to hospital suffering from salmonella infection after eating the gecko. He was struck down two days after friends saw him eat the lizard.
His partner of 15 years, Allira, begged emergency services to take him to hospital after they thought he only had a hangover or stomach bug.
Mr. Dowell’s sister, Hannah, told The Brisbane Times: “It was coming out both ends and he was really sick, and the moment he started throwing up and it was green, that’s when they rang the ambulance.
“When they got there, they (paramedics) didn’t even want to take him (to hospital). They said he just had gastro and his partner said, ‘No, you’ve got to take him; it’s not just gastro’.”
Mr. Dowell was diagnosed with salmonella.
The condition typically causes patients to suffer days of stomach cramps, diarrhea, and fever. But for the father-of-three, symptoms were much worse.
He started vomiting green bile, his stomach was severely bloated and his urine was black. Fluid also filled up his lungs and his stomach started leaking.
Allira was told by a friend that they saw him eat a gecko at a party.
“(Allira) told the doctor and the doctor said, ‘That could have been it’,” Hannah said.
“But there has been no evidence that he actually ate it because there was, ‘Oh yeah I saw him eat it’, and then, ‘No, I didn’t see him eat it’.
“It was a dare, so he might have intended to eat it and then thrown it away. At the end of the day, we don’t know whether he actually ate the gecko. David never mentioned it.”
Mr. Dowell was ‘basically rotted from the inside out.’
“His testicles were swollen up to grapefruits and there was fluid leaking from them and they (doctors) said that was normal,” she said.
“I want justice for David … or just answers. You don’t ever think anything like this could ever happen to you and then it does.”
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