NZ family may be paralysed for life from eating wild boar

Henrietta Strickland
November 17, 2017

The couple's children are reportedly being looked after by their local church group.

Their long-term health depends on the results of a toxicology report - due on Friday - a week after the trio fell ill.

He said it wasn't the first time the family had eaten wild boar.

'It was just something they had chose to have for dinner... they put the kids to bed before they cooked the meat, ' Mr Varghese said.

And until then, friends and family face an anxious wait.

Friends of the family wrote in a Facebook post that Shibu Kochummen, his wife Subi Babu and mother Alekutty Daniel collapsed after eating the meat.

Shibu had shot the boar while on a hunting trip with friends.

Within minutes of consuming the meal, Daniel collapsed at the family's Putaruru home.

Ms Babu called emergency services and fainted through the conversation, Varghese said. The trio has been lying in the hospital in an unresponsive state for a week now.

On Friday, their conditions remained the same.

Subi Babu Shibu Kochummen and Alekutty Daniel with the children
Subi Babu Shibu Kochummen and Alekutty Daniel with the children

He added that those who hunt or handle game meat should follow the guidelines set out by the Ministry of Primary Industries to reduce any risk of contamination.

Pomerleau says symptoms from botulism poisoning would usually present in a matter of hours, as opposed to minutes.

The children were not fed the contaminated meat, as they were already in bed.

'The three patients are responding to botulism anti-toxin and are recovering in hospital. The hospital spokeswoman was unable to confirm whether the anti-toxin was available.

Treatment options include purging techniques and antitoxin medication.

The last known case of botulism in New Zealand was in 1983.

The family, who moved from Kerala in India to New Zealand five years ago, have two children aged seven and one. They are now being looked after by Hamilton Marthoma Congregation, a registered charity.

The Indian High Commission told the New Zealand Herald that embassy staff are working with family and friends.

The family from Putaruru, on New Zealand's North Island are in a critical condition at Waikato Hospital after eating the animal they shot on a hunting trip.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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