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Student fighting for life after accidentally eating rat poison

Student fighting for life after accidentally eating rat poison

His condition has been getting worse in hospital for ten days.

An Australian student has been left fighting for his life after accidentally eating rat poison.

Alex Shorey, 24, from Toowoomba, Australia, was a student at Queensland university, but had been on a dream-come-true exchange programme at Tamkang University in Taipei, Taiwan for almost a year when he fell ill in April.

Alex was just a few weeks away from flying home to Australia when he ingested the poison, which is believed by his family to have come from either contaminated or laced street food.

Alex is suspected to have eaten tainted or laced street food.
NBC/ GoFundMe

His brother, Jean-Luc Shorey, 26, said Alex's symptoms started out as a nosebleed and blood in his urine as he woke up covered in blood.

The super warfarin found in his system is a strong poison, identified by the National Institute of Health as a rodenticide, which stops the body's process of blood from clotting, or coagulation.

As his condition worsened, Alex started noticing black spots appear on his skin, which was a sign of blood haemorrhaging into his muscles, Jean-Luc explained.

The 'funny and bubbly' student's brother said he was initially given the 'wrong diagnosis', with doctors saying he had an immune disorder - and in the meantime, his symptoms got worse.

The student's aunt, Lizzy Shorey-Kitson, said said the dramatic symptoms continued for several days amid multiple hospital trips until he was rushed to intensive care on 18th April suffering from hypovolemic shock - an emergency condition in which severe blood or other fluid loss makes the heart unable to pump enough blood to the body.

Because of the delay, and having anaphylactic reactions to the vitamin K and plasma treatments he had been on, his family wanted him brought back to Australia to be treated by specialist toxicologists.

Alex accidentally ingested rat poison leaving him with hospitalised with 'very strange' symptoms.
Alex Shorey

Alex's organs are severely damaged and he is in respiratory failure, along with being barely conscious and suffering anaemia.

Alex's father, Stephen Shorey, flew to Taiwan to be with him as he is a doctor in Toowoomba, southern Queensland and urged local doctors to do further blood and plasma tests.

However after starting a GoFundMe page and raising over AUD$200K (over £100K), his family have confirmed he is now booked on a medical evacuation flight to go home on Monday for 'lifesaving treatment', which is not available in Taipei.

The head of the ICU at the Royal Prince Albert Hospital in Sydney have a specialist toxicology team on standby.

The specialised medical flight retrieval service costs AUD$172K (over £90K) minimum, and wasn't covered by insurance.

His family have explained that as he needs high pressure oxygen treatment and the support of an ICU team in transit, Alex was unable to fly on a commercial flight.

"This is the start of a long recovery for Alex, but this journey can’t properly begin until he’s in the advanced care of physicians here in Australia," his fundraising page reads.

Dr Shorey explained his son was improving and now needed less oxygen than he had been needing for the past week and said the family were 'just so grateful' for the public outpouring of support.

Featured Image Credit: Alex Shorey

Topics: Health, Australia, News, Travel