A family who were left in a vegetative state after eating contaminated wild boar have woken three weeks later in hospital.
Shibu Kochummen, 35 and his wife Subi Babu, 32, along with Mr Kochummen’s 62-year-old mother Alekutty Daniel were all left unconscious after consuming the animal’s meat at their Waikato home on November 10.
Mr Kochummen had caught the boar on a hunting trip and the family decided to cook and eat the animal but they ended up consuming a potentially-fatal botulism toxin.
As their condition rapidly deteriorated shortly after, Kochummen called for an ambulance before passing out while on the phone.
Doctors were initially greatly concerned with the condition of the trio and worried they would be paralysed for life, but against all odds, Mr Kochummen and his mother awoke earlier in the week.
And on Saturday morning Ms Babu also gained consciousness to the delight of friends and the couple’s two young daughters aged seven and one.
Close friend of the family Joji Varghese revealed his delight at hearing the good news.
“I’m just so happy. I’m really just trying to get all my thoughts into place: I’m happy-confused,” he told The New Zealand Herald.
Mr Kochummen’s ongoing recovery meant he can now speak clearly despite his physical limitations.
“The biggest thing going through his mind at the moment is how long it’s going to take for things to get back to normal again. There’s also some fear about whether this will leave any lasting problems,” Mr Varghese said.
Mr Kochummen told his friend that his mother, who has made the quickest recovery after eating the least meat, is desperate to return home following their ordeal.
“It’s very difficult for her because she only speaks her mother tongue and just can’t wait to get out of the hospital.”
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Mr Kochummen’s sister and Ms Babu’s brother had travelled to New Zealand from India to visit their siblings in hospital but Mr Kochummen’s sister soon returned home, unable to deal with the severity of the situation.
With concerns over how long the trio were to remain in a vegetitive state, plans had been made for the couple’s young children to travel to India to spend Christmas with their grandparents.
The family had initially moved to New Zealand from India five years ago.
Doctors are now focused on rehabilitating the trio and are hopeful they can return to a fully fuctioning state.