A man died 10 days after eating a gecko at a party for a dare.
Dad-of-three David Dowell died in 'absolute agony' after contracting a salmonella infection, thought to be due to eating the gecko.
He was struck down with the illness two days after he was reportedly dared to eat the lizard while at a party in December last year.
Now his heartbroken family and friends want answers over his death.
Speaking to 7 News, his partner of 15 years Allira Bricknell said his death had been a massive shock.
"We never thought this would happen, it was just a big shock and it still is a big shock," she said.
"He was a great person, he was the best person I have ever met, he was the best dad to our children."
After spending a day in hospital, medics diagnosed David with salmonella - an illness which causes diarrhoea, sickness, stomach cramps and fever.
Some of David Dowell's friends have said they seen him eating a gecko 'for a dare'. Credit: (Stock Image) PA
However, in David's case it was even worse, he began throwing up green bile and was left with black urine. His stomach became so bloated his family say he looked 'six months pregnant'.
His family thought that the salmonella had been caused by chicken, but then David's pal told Allira they were 'pretty sure' he had eaten a gecko at the party and when she passed this information on to a doctor she was told that 'could have been it'.
David's sister Hannah told The Brisbane Times: "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."
Tragically, on 11 December, less than a fortnight after the party, David died while in surgery.
His family said he was 'basically rotted from the inside out'.
They are now asking Mater Hospital, where David was treated, for answers about his death - particularly in relation to decisions made by the medical team.
Hannah added: "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."
In a statement, the hospital said it was unable to comment on David's death.
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