Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Lodi Woman Dies After Eating Death Cap Mushrooms

You may remember the post we ran about the Lodi family who ate Death Cap Mushrooms.
Three weeks later, a Lodi woman who ate the poisonous mushroom on the Lodi Lake nature trail has died.  She was unable to gain enough strength to undergo a liver transplant needed to save her life.
Tomasa Jimenez, a 31-year-old mother of three, was hiking on the Lodi Lake trail with her husband, Israel Vega, and cousin Fidelina Jimenez on Nov. 8 when they came across death cap mushrooms they mistook for the ones you can eat.
"They (the mushrooms) looked the same as the ones from Mexico," Vega said in a phone interview Monday.
All three family members became ill after eating the mushrooms, and after a brief stay at Lodi Memorial Hospital, they were transferred to the critical care unit at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco.
Vega, whom a hospital official said "is in very good health now," was discharged Monday. Fidelina Jimenez underwent a successful liver transplant Friday and continues her recovery.

The deadly mushroom, Amanita phalloides, is generally found in the Bay Area and as far north as the Oregon border.
The mushrooms grow beneath California live oaks and arrive after the season's first rains, then thrive as the temperature cools.
The snow-white mushrooms have dusted green caps and appear meaty.
The tell-tale sign of their toxicity is the pure white gills underneath the cap.
Lodi Lake does not have signs specifically warning people of possible deadly dangers at the park, but there is a sign at the entrance of the nature area that says, "Collection of plant or animal species is prohibited."
California Pacific spokesman Kevin McCormack said Tomasa Jimenez was in line for a liver transplant but lapsed into a coma and never gained enough strength to undergo the procedure.
The lesson here, Death Cap Mushrooms really do live up to their name.