Dared to Eat a Gecko, He Died 10 Days Later

Henrietta Strickland
July 5, 2019

Family and medical examiners are still searching for answers six months after an Australian man died in "absolute agony" of salmonella - and they believe he may have developed the infection after eating a gecko on a dare. David Dowell of Brisbane at first thought he was hungover when he didn't feel well a day after a December 1 Christmas party.

Mr Dowell's sister told The Brisbane Times it was very confronting to see her brother in the state he was in, as he was vomiting green fluid, passing black urine and having fluid on his lungs. "That's when they rang the ambulance".

He was diagnosed with a salmonella infection the following day.Mr Dowell was suffering with a range of disgusting symptoms, he was extremely bloated, "almost pregnant" looking, his urine was black, his vomit was green and after a few days he had fluid on his lungs.

"We don't know 100 percent how he passed but on the actual death certificate, it did say ingestion of a gecko, so I'm assuming it was that", she said.

"I don't think there was anyone who met him who didn't love the person he was", said Allira Bricknell, his distraught partner.

Within days, he was vomiting green bile and his testicles had swollen to the size of grapefruits - with a unusual liquid leaking from them.

The family said they are making his story public so people can "look out for the signs and realize how bad salmonella can be". He leaves behind his partner of 15 years and three daughters.

His family said he "rotted from the inside out".

Mr Dowell's death comes less than a year after a 28-year-old Sydney man died eight years after eating a slug for a dare.

"We had to ask for pain relief for David ..." He was in so much pain that doctors had to put him in an induced coma. Unfortunately, his family didn't even get to say goodbye to him. "Persons who think they might have become ill from contact with reptiles should talk to a health care provider". The moment he got moved into the intensive care unit, that's when they got serious.

Hannah said that she wants "justice for David" and further investigation into his death. He never mentioned it to his partner, Allira, and to this day no one really knows for sure if he actually ate it, but a few days after that Saturday party, he was in the hospital fighting for his life.

David Dowell had a severe salmonella infection.

'It's possible that if the gecko was eaten, as it was being digested, the salmonella was released, but I have never heard of anything like this before, ' Mr Turner said.

"It just goes to show that things as innocent as geckos can carry disease bacteria".

"Mater offers its deepest condolences to the family of Mr David Dowell".

Mr Dowell was taken to hospital after he felt like he was still hungover after the Christmas party. "Mater is unable to comment further on the case due to patient confidentiality".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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