Family Falls Ill From Backyard Mushrooms

Foraging is awesome—if you do it right

Ryan O'Hanlon

A Connecticut family found themselves in the hospital after accidentally ingesting some deadly foraged mushrooms. Last Thursday, Shah Noor picked a handful of mushrooms from the backyard and used them to make dinner for her family. Unfortunately, it turned out that the fungi were a species known as the “destroying angel,” which can be deadly if ingested.

The entire family was in Hartford’s St. Francis Hospital the next day. A combined IV-solution treatment cured Noor, her husband, Musarat Ullah, and one of their daughters, but their other daughter, Wafa Guloona, suffered liver damage.

Ullah said that it was common to pick wild mushrooms in Pakistan, from which the family emigrated. “Expert mushroom hunters and even mycologists make mistakes because they fall back on assumptions and make mistakes in identification,” said mycologist Robert Marra. “Stories are legion of famous mycologists who have succumbed because they make little mistakes in identification.”

Via Connecticut Now