Heartbreak as Aussie poisoned in Taiwan
A Queensland university student who is fighting for his life after inadvertently consuming rat poison on an exchange program has been booked on a medical evacuation flight, his family say.
Alex Shorey, 24, from Toowoomba had been studying at Tamkang University in Taipei for almost a year before he was poisoned with superwarfarin just before Easter.
“The effects of the poison, superwarfarin, are catastrophic,” his aunt Elizabeth Shorey-Kitson wrote.
He has been in Taipei Medical University Hospital since April 18 but his family wanted him to be brought back to Australia for treatment to save his life.
Lack of effective treatment and a language barrier have led to Alex's parents, who are currently with him in Taiwan, to attempt to get him home to recover.
Ms Shorey-Kitson, launched GoFundMe earlier this week to raise the more than $170,000 needed to urgently fly him home.
Close to 3000 people donated to the fund raising a total of $208,682.
“We are so overwhelmed and humbled by the amount of love, support and kindness we have received, and thanks to the generosity of you all, our journey to bring Alex home is now underway,” Ms Shorey-Kitson wrote.
“It was huge 24/36 hours and now to have reached our goal and to have Alex booked on a plane has left us in tears of joy. We still can‘t quite believe it!”
Alex’s parents, Steve and Julie, and his brother Jean-Luc, said they were humbled by the messages of support from those who donated.
“We have attempted three flights over the past few weeks, each one of them cancelled as Alex‘s condition deteriorated further just prior to depature as the poison worked through his body causing further complications,” they wrote in an update.
“So to have the reassurance that we can now fund the medical support and specialised medical retrieval services he needs is utterly amazing.”
Alex’s tragedy started earlier this month when he woke up one morning covered in blood.
Ms Shorey-Kitson said the dramatic symptoms continued for several days amid multiple hospital trips until he was rushed to intensive care.
Because of the delay, Alex’s organs are severely damaged and he is in respiratory failure along with being barely conscious and suffering anaemia.
Alex was just a few weeks away from flying home to Australia when he ingested the poison.