29 Jan 2018

Family struck down by eating boar to get ACC

9:28 pm on 29 January 2018

The family who fell ill after eating wild boar last year will be covered by ACC.

Wild boar may have poisoned this Putaruru family

Photo: RNZ / YouTube

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

The family had been gifted the wild boar, and had eaten it in November for dinner. Shortly after eating it the family became sick and were vomiting, before becoming paralysed. They were hospitalised at Waikato Hospital, and when they began thrashing in their beds, they had to be restrained.

They spent a month in hospital, and during that time Shibu and Subi's young children returned to India so that they could be cared for by other family.

The trio were released from hospital just before Christmas. Until last week they had been recovering at their Putaruru home, but have since gone back to India for a few weeks to see their children.

It was initially thought the family may have contracted botulism, and ACC indicated cover was unlikely due to the ingestion of bacterium not being considered an accident.

However all tests for botulism came back negative, so ACC provided cover.

The family's lawyer, Sue Grey, said ACC would cover the cost of their hospital bills, lost income, and rehabilitation.

"It's been so stressful. On top of the illness there's been this big delay in getting the ACC cover because of the initial incorrect diagnoses of botulism. So now that we finally unravelled it and got everything back on a good track, it's just taken so much pressure off them."

Ms Grey said the delay in coverage meant it had been financially tough for the family, adding that they had been living on donations arranged by their church, the Indian Community.

They've been out of work since becoming sick, but it's hoped that they will be well enough to return to work in early March.

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