The mushrooms growing in one Connecticut family's backyard (pictured below) might have looked appetizing, but once they ate them, they became violently ill and had to go to the hospital.
Shah Noor, 40, who is originally from Pakistan but now lives with her family in Newington, Conn., picked the mushrooms last Thursday, just like she used to do in Pakistan. She cooked them with some onions, garlic and green chili peppers for herself, her husband and two adult daughters. According to the Hartford Courant, the family thought it was a tasty meal.
But the next morning, all four were experiencing symptoms of severe intestinal distress, including nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, and sought medical aid.
"I was really scared, and it was really painful to see all my family members in the same situation," Noor's 24-year-old daughter, Wafa Guloona (pictured above in a hospital bed), told WTIC-TV.
According to Dr. Danyal Ibrahim, a toxicologist at the Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford, Conn., the mushrooms belonged to the deadly Amanita group.
"Amanita bisporigera is what I believe she ate, which contains the Amanitin toxin that damages the liver cells," Ibrahim told NBC Connecticut.
The four family members were all treated with a charcoal solution to absorb the toxins, as well as a drug called N-Acetylcysteine to aid restoration of damaged liver cells. While this helped most of them, Guloona's condition continued to get worse.
Thankfully, Ibrahim was aware of an experimental drug used in Europe, called Silibinin, which blocks toxins before they reach the liver and kidneys. He got emergency approval to use the drug, which quickly started to help Guloona. She is expected to be able to leave the hospital later this week.
"We are very thankful to them. God bless them," said Musarat Ullah, Noor's husband, of hospital staff. "The people here at St. Francis Hospital really took care of us. They took care of us so well."