’Why was everybody so sure it was botulism?’

Wild boar may have poisoned this Putaruru family - Photo: RNZ / YouTube

A Putāruru family struck down with a mystery illness after eating wild boar in November last year have raised concerns about communication at Waikato hospital.

Shibu Kochummen, his wife Subi, and his mother Alekutty Daniel became paralysed after eating the boar.

The family's lawyer, Sue Grey, says while tests came back negative for botulism, medical professionals were still telling them botulism had not been ruled out.

"On the one hand they're absolutely delighted to have another chance at life.

"But on the other hand they're now asking a lot of questions about why was everybody so sure it was botulism, and telling them it was botulism, and telling the public it was botulism when clearly it wasn't?"

Sue says they hoped to have an answer on whether ACC would cover the family's medical expenses within the next few days.

ACC originally indicated they it would not provide cover, saying what had happened to the family was not classed as a 'accident'.

However, Sue says they now had all the paperwork needed to show that it was not botulism.

"The DHB finally provided the last of the information mid last week and ACC only had a couple of minor questions.

"We're really hopeful that ACC will come forward in the next day or so and confirm that ACC cover is approved. I see no reason why it shouldn't be."

She says the family could be waiting up to six months for physiotherapy without ACC.

Botulism is a rare, potential fatal illness that has symptoms including weakness, blurred vision and trouble speaking.


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