Doctors use experimental drug to save mother and son who accidentally ate ‘death cap’ mushroom

The 63-year-old mother had to have a liver transplant after eating the deadly mushroom, which she plucked from a friend’s backyard in Amherst.

A woman and her adult son nearly died after accidentally eating a toxic “death cap” mushroom they picked from their friend’s backyard in Amherst.

According to a CBS Boston report, doctors at UMass Memorial Medical Center were able to save the pair, though the woman, 63-year-old Kam Look, had to have a liver transplant.

She and her son, 27-year-old Kai Chen, reportedly ate the mushroom after Look said it reminded her of mushrooms she ate while growing up in Malaysia.

However, the death cap mushroom they ingested contains enough poison in one cap to kill two people. 


According to the report, the pair ate the mushrooms about two weeks ago and then started experiencing poisoning symptoms a few hours later. They described the feeling as being similar to food poisoning, but worse. 

“For both of us, what it felt like was that we were really in imminent danger,” Kai Chen told the outlet.

He translated for his mother, saying, “For me, it looked like any other normal capped mushrooms, which I thought it was very safe to eat.”

Dr. Stephanie Carreiro greeted Kai and Look when they arrived at UMass Memorial. She told CBS, “When they came in, they were both very ill and had signs of liver damage, and Kam actually had signs of kidney damage as well from the mushrooms.”

Doctors brought in an experimental drug flown from Philadelphia to treat the pair — though Look ended up needing a liver transplant. 


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