An Australian father-of-three died after participating in a dare.
According to reports, David Dowell was under "absolute agony" when he checked into Brisbane’s Mater Hospital on Dec. 3, 2018. At first, it was assumed Dowell was suffering from a bad hangover. But to his family's surprise, a day into his stay, doctors diagnosed Dowell with salmonella. The infection ended up claiming his life.
His death—which his partner, Allira, described as a "big shock"—is assumed to have been triggered by his pride. Reports describe Dowell as "a man who would never back down from a dare." This was a trait his friends toyed with when they dared Dowell to eat a gecko during a Christmas party. Ten days after he readily accepted the challenge, Dowell passed away.
Prior to his tragic death, Dowell's hospital stay was plagued with pain. The salmonella caused Dowell's stomach to swell in size due to the fluid that filled his lungs and leaked into his stomach. He also vomited green bile as his body tried to rid him of the infection. The swelling started to spread to other parts of Dowell's body, including his testicles.
"His testicles were swollen up to grapefruits, and there was fluid leaking from them, and they (doctors) said that was normal, it was just all of the fluid in his stomach cavity," Dowell's sister Hannah told reporters. "The surgeon basically said that he needed that (surgery) straight away," she explained. "We also asked why they didn’t give him a catheter, and they said they didn’t think of that."
After being asked if there was a way to control his pain, doctors put Dowell in a medically induced coma from which he never came out. Dowell's family said he suffered organ failure and, "basically rotted from the inside out."
The Dowell family is now seeking justice as they feel the medical staff's incompetence led to their loved one's death. "We never really got to say goodbye to him," his sister said. "I want justice for David … or just answers."
In response to the family's complaints, Brisbane’s Mater Hospital issued a statement claiming that Dowell's case has been referred to a coroner for further evaluation.
"Mater offers its deepest condolences to the family of Mr. David Dowell. Mr. Dowell’s case was referred to the coroner, who determined Mater had provided appropriate care and no further action was required," the statement reads. "Mater is unable to comment further on the case due to patient confidentiality."