Teen Goes Into Coma After Eating Toxic Fish

BRADENTON, Fla. (CBS Tampa) – Austin Goncalves, 15, is recovering after going into a coma.

He went into the coma after he got fish poisoning from a snapper in the Bahamas.

Austin is finally eating food for the first time in week. “I’m on anti-seizure medication,” he told WTSP.

Earlier this month, Austin caught a mutton snapper that his mom cooked for dinner.

“I couldn’t eat, couldn’t breath,” Austin told the station.  “This was very serious,” his mom, Karen Goncalves added. “It could have ended our lives.”

Austin, his friend, Karen, and her boyfriend were all suffering from Ciguatera, which is a potentially fatal illness from eating toxic fish.

The family never heard of this disease but Karen knew something was wrong and called an ambulance. “The kids were not responding,” she said. “They threw up all night and the next day and were pretty much unresponsive.”

They were all rushed to a local hospital but Karen wanted to get back to the United States.  She thought they could die if they stayed in the Bahamas and asked for help through Facebook.

“And I wanted to thank all of our friends and family who came together to make this possible for us to come home,” she said.

Medical bills have since added up and it cost $10,000 for each to be flown out of the Bahamas.

The Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant & Pub on Longboat Key had a fundraiser to help Austin.

The Blue Marlin Grill will also have a fundraiser.

If you are interested in donating to help Austin, you can contribute via their fundraising website.


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