Ohio resident William Hickman faced a life-threatening situation after consuming four toxic mushrooms misidentified by a plant identification app.
Hickman stumbled upon the mushrooms while mowing his Windham estate last year and, relying on the app’s verdict labeling them as “giant puffballs,” included them in his tortellini dinner that evening.
Unfortunately, the mushrooms were, in reality, the poisonous ‘destroying angels.’ Eight hours later, Hickman began vomiting uncontrollably and endured intense pain.
“You know how when you’re sick and then you feel better and you can get some sleep? Well, it just went on and on,” he told CNN.
‘There was no relief, the pain was unbearable. It was terrible,” he said.
Prompted by the alarming symptoms, Hickman’s wife, Tammy, photographed the mushrooms and contacted poison control.
Concerned about a potential ingestion of a hazardous mushroom, the experts advised immediate hospitalization.
In the emergency room, she said, doctors essentially told her to “make arrangements.”
“When I heard that,” Bill said, “and I knew how I felt, I thought, ‘I know this is the end.’
Given the critical condition of Hickman’s kidney and liver, he was swiftly transferred to University Hospital in Cleveland.
Surviving this perilous encounter was possible only through the administration of an experimental antidote during his hospitalization.
The incident underscores the risks associated with the growing popularity of mushroom foraging, which has seen an uptick in recent years, contributing to an alarming rise in poisoning cases.