HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) -- Four members of a Newington family became sick after eating mushrooms picked from their backyard.
Wild white mushrooms growing in the backyard of the Guloona family's home in Newington turned out to be poisonous, not the kind they were used to harvesting in their native land of Pakistan.
"Over there, we just go to the fields and pick it up and we eat them, even dry, not even washing them," said Musaratullah Guloona, patient.
Oldest daughter Wafa is still recovering at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, but all four family members ended up in the Emergency Department.
Toxicologist Dr. Danyal Ibrahim was on call at the time.
"Often times during this time of the year, we worry about viral, gastroenteritis or a viral bug and I asked him what was going on and he mentioned he ate mushrooms," said Dr. Ibrahim.
Wafa has been in the hospital for five days now, recuperating from liver injury that could have progressed to liver failure.
"It was really painful for me," Wafa said. "Now I am feeling good."
Dr. Ibrahim prescribed a cocktail of drugs including Silibinin, an investigative drug, still in clinical trials.
"To me, in my eyes, that was a situation where it was life and death," Dr. Ibrahim said, "it was a life saving medication."
The toxic mushroom, commonly known as the destroying angel, is found in the Northeast.
Dr. Ibrahim says it is resistant to cooking or heat.
His recommendation to prevent serious illness or death is to avoid wild mushrooms all together.
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