Three members of a Malayali family in New Zealand are in a critical condition at a hospital there after they ate the meat of a wild boar, suspected to be poisoned.
Shibu Kochummen, his wife Subi Babu and his mother Alekutty Daniel were found unresponsive at home by paramedics and subsequently admitted to the intensive care unit of the Waikato Hospital in Hamilton on November 10. While they were initially in a ‘vegetative’ state, their condition has improved a bit.
“Two of them have opened their eyes and started moving their limbs but still not responding to people or their surroundings,” Sojan Joseph, who belongs to the same church congregation as the family, told IndianExpress.com.
The couple’s two children, aged 7 and 1, who did not consume the meat, are being looked after by the church. “We are doing our best to not let this incident affect them, but not sure for how long though,” he said.
Shibu and his wife, who had migrated to New Zealand five years ago, belong to Kottarakkara in Kollam district of Kerala. Joseph said that while Shibu often goes hunting for wild boars, this time it was one of his friends who gave him the meat.
“I do believe they did cook it well since he has been doing it for quite some time,” Joseph said.
Investigators have reportedly taken away the meat and are analyzing it for toxins. A report is expected in two weeks. The doctors at the Waikato hospital in Hamilton have started treatment for a condition called ‘botulism.’
In a Facebook post, Joseph said the Indian High Commission is offering the family all assistance. He has pleaded for financial help and said that the local church is accepting funds for the family’s medical treatment.