Student was poisoned at bar with Liam
Student was 'poisoned at bar with Liam'

A Canadian woman who befriended Liam Davies the week before his death has revealed how she was treated for suspected methanol poisoning after drinking with the Perth roof carpenter.

Rosalind Jay said yesterday she feared she would die after celebrating New Year's Eve with the 19-year-old at Rudy's Pub, a popular bar on Gili Trawangan, north-east of Lombok.

She said it was the only place the pair drank that night and they ordered the same vodka-lime drink she now believes poisoned them.

"I didn't drink anything else on the island but Bintangs, so I know it was that drink that did it," she said.

The 18-year-old art history student was violently ill the next morning and passed out on the ferry to Bali. She said passengers had to move her when her head kept banging against the side of the boat and she did not wake up.

Her vision became increasingly blurred, she was disoriented and she had trouble staying awake.

When she sat down to dinner that night, she suddenly became "very confused, dizzy, lightheaded and nauseous".

"I'd never felt so immediately sick in my whole life. I had to run outside to go throw up and started panicking as my vision became more and more blurry and I couldn't really focus on anything I was looking at," Miss Jay said.

"I became very weak and couldn't really stand properly, or eat, or drink anything."

She slept for 14 hours and when she woke up, she couldn't see a thing.

"I felt very, very confused, despite being at home… I honestly thought that I was going to go blind just like all the people I'd read about who suffered from methanol poisoning as well. It was terrifying, I thought it was going to be permanent."

Her parents rushed her to Bali International Medical Centre in Kuta where she began immediate treatment for methanol poisoning. She continued treatment at a hospital in Malaysia before flying back home to Canada yesterday.

"I am very lucky to be alive," she said.

Miss Jay said she last saw Mr Davies on the beach on New Year's Eve and had no idea he had also been poisoned until her mother went online to research methanol cases and came across an article about the Perth man's fate.

"My mother said 'someone else from Gili' has been poisoned and she read out the name. I couldn't believe it," she said. "I was very, very shocked when my mom told me what had happened and I didn't really know how to respond because I'd only just met him and the guys... honestly I'm still shocked that this has happened."

She said she had met Mr Davies and his friends a few days earlier and instantly warmed to them.

"They were really, really genuinely nice guys," she said.

"I couldn't say enough nice things about them all even if I tried. They were extremely funny and just great to be around, especially as a girl travelling on Gili alone.

"It was refreshing to meet such characters for once … not everyone I met on the island was like that.

"We got along really well which was why we hung out together."

_The West Australian _revealed yesterday that despite the Australian Government calling for a crackdown on rogue Indonesian alcohol producers in the wake of Mr Davies' death, Australian authorities had not told Indonesian police about the poisoning or the serious allegations against the bar which his friends claim was responsible.

The bar was still operating this week. There had been no police investigation, no bar staff had been interviewed and no attempt had been made to test the drinks it was still serving to tourists.

Miss Jay said she was a regular traveller to Lombok and wanted to warn tourists, who she said were unaware of the dangers in a place that seemed "so carefree".

"Many people believe they will be safe if they don't drink arak," she said. "That's not true. The methanol can be in any drink."

She had believed she had nothing to worry about because she had stuck to a vodka drink that looked like it came from a legitimate bottle behind the bar.

"Recognisable brands are advertised (and) people are tricked into thinking they've ordered a safe drink there," she said.

"I wouldn't have ordered the drink in the first place if I knew the alcohol was something other than the vodka advertised.

"The bar staff are all friendly so you think they're your friends . . . you think everything is fine.

"I'm lucky to be alive but unfortunately my friend didn't make it."

Miss Jay said her heart went out to Mr Davies' family and friends.

"The last time I saw Liam I was saying goodbye to him and his friend as we all headed back home from sitting on the beach," she said.

Miss Jay said that two days ago she called the Australian consulate in Bali, after she had recovered, to tell them what she knew about what had happened to Mr Davies and details of their poisoning.

She said they told her she needed to have reported the incident in person to the police and an investigation could not be launched from information passed on over the phone or in writing.

"By the time I'd found that out, I'd already left Indonesia," she said.

The West Australian

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