A five-year-old Afghan boy evacuated from Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital, who became critically ill after eating poisonous wild mushrooms at his migrant centre in Poland has died, the Polish health ministry spokesman, Wojciech Andrusiewicz, said on Thursday.
His six-year-old brother, who had a liver transplant on Wednesday, has shown signs of severe damage to his brain during the previous 24 hours and his prognosis is not good, the spokesman told a news conference.
The five-year-old boy had suffered irreversible brain damage and was unable to have a transplant. The brothers were taken to a Warsaw children’s hospital in a critical condition after they mistakenly ate the mushrooms last week while staying in a migrants’ centre in a forested area outside Warsaw.
“Unfortunately, we were unable to help both boys,” said the hospital’s director, Dr Marek Migdal.
A 17-year-old Afghan girl, who also ate poisonous mushrooms at the centre, has recovered and has been discharged from the hospital.
Poland has 12,000 species of fungi and more than 250 are poisonous, some of which can be deadly. The brothers were part of a family evacuated from Kabul by the Polish military.
Poland evacuated more than 1,000 Afghans who had worked with Nato forces in the country.
Employees of migrant centres have been instructed to warn all foreigners not to eat wild mushrooms. Collecting wild mushrooms in the autumn is very popular in Poland, and every year some Poles are hospitalised after eating poisonous varieties.
The Taliban, an Islamic insurgent group, retook over complete control of Afghanistan on 15 August.
The Taliban’s lightning advance sparked off a frenetic effort to evacuate thousands of foreign nationals and local Afghans who had been working for them.
US forces withdrew from Afghanistan on Tuesday, ending America’s longest war 20 years after launching an invasion to oust the Taliban.