Dramatic twist in the mind-boggling case of an Australian student fighting for life after ingesting rat poison in Taiwan
- Poison victim flown home from Taiwan
- Alex Shorey arrived on Wednesday
- Intentional poisoning not ruled out
Police in Taiwan are investigating whether the case of an Australian exchange student who is now fighting for his life after consuming rat poison was an act of ‘criminal intent’.
Alex Shorey, 24, flew from Taipei to his hometown of Toowoomba, 130 km west of Brisbane, on Wednesday in a specially chartered medical plane.
Just before Easter, he had taken superwarfarin – a very poisonous poison that prevents the blood from clotting.
His family originally suspected the poison was in contaminated street food, but they have revealed that police are also investigating whether it was administered ‘intentionally’.
“It’s all speculative at this point. The only thing that’s been confirmed is the poison,” Mr. Shorey’s uncle, Ross Shorey-Kitson, told 7News.
Alex Shorey (pictured left) is fighting for his life after ingesting a potent rat poison in Taiwan
Mr. Shorey, who was on a year-long exchange program, was admitted to the intensive care unit of Taipei Medical University Hospital on April 18 after several previous visits due to his uncontrolled bleeding, which caused him to wake up in the morning covered in blood.
He was “bleeding profusely from his nose … bleeding into his muscles and into his joints,” and his lungs were filled with fluid,” his family said.
After days of bleeding, he went into hypovolemic shock, meaning his organs were at risk of failing from lack of blood.
Unfortunately, a severe allergic reaction to vitamin K treatment in the hospital caused him to go into cardiorespiratory collapse six days later.
As a result, Mr. Shorey has suffered organ damage, respiratory problems and anemia.
Mr. Shorey’s family was desperate to get him home to save his life, but since he couldn’t take a commercial flight, they had to raise the eye-watering sum of $172,000 for a specially chartered medical plane.
Mr Shorey was admitted to a Taiwanese hospital after days of heavy bleeding and later suffered severe anaphylactic shock caused by treatment
The specially chartered medical plane that Mr Shorey’s family secured to fly him home cost $172,000 for the trip
Elizabeth Shorey-Kitson, Mr. Shorey’s aunt, launched a GoFundMe to collect the money last week.
Nearly 3,000 people donated to raise 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 all of you, our journey to bring Alex home is now underway,” Mrs. Shorey-Kitson wrote.
“It was a huge 24/36 hours and now that we’ve reached our goal and booked Alex on a plane, we’re left with 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.
Mr Shorey’s charter landed in Darwin on Wednesday afternoon for the final leg home.
To support Mr. Shorey’s weak respiratory system, the plane stayed low until it finally returned him to a relieved family.