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'He was in absolute agony': Mystery surrounds horrific death of father-of-three who 'looked six months' pregnant' and passed away 10 days after being dared to eat a GECKO at a party

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 2/7/2019 Mark Brook For Daily Mail Australia

a man smiling for the camera: David Dowell, 35 (pictured), died 10 days after a Christmas party on December 1, 2018 © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited David Dowell, 35 (pictured), died 10 days after a Christmas party on December 1, 2018 The family of a father-of-three who died after he was dared to eat a gecko at a party are still searching for answers more than six months after his death.

David Dowell, 35, tragically died 10 days after the Christmas party on December 1, 2018.  

He was diagnosed with a salmonella infection at the Mater Hospital on December 4, which doctors initially thought was caused by chicken but then later the dare.

a couple of people posing for the camera: David Dowell, pictured with partner Allira, tragically died 10 days after he reportedly took part in a bizarre dare that involved eating the lizard at a Christmas party on December 1, 2018 © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited David Dowell, pictured with partner Allira, tragically died 10 days after he reportedly took part in a bizarre dare that involved eating the lizard at a Christmas party on December 1, 2018

When he arrived at the healthcare facility, David was in 'absolute agony' and was bloated, resembling someone who was six months pregnant.  

His sister told The Brisbane Times it was very confronting to see her brother, who vomiting green fluid, passing black urine and having fluid on his lungs. 

'When I went up and saw him, he was just in absolute agony,' Hannah said. 

Last Tuesday, on what would have been his 35th birthday, his family gathered beside the Logan River, where he often went fishing, to hold a vigil in his honour. 

a man and a woman posing for a picture: David Dowell (left) leaves behind his partner of 15 years Allira (right) and three daughters © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited David Dowell (left) leaves behind his partner of 15 years Allira (right) and three daughters

Hannah said David, who leaves behind his partner of 15 years Allira and three daughters Alissa, Claudia and Sage, was 'a great person' and 'one of a kind.' 

David's family are still searching for answers after hearing conflicting accounts from those who were at the party.    

According to Hannah, doctors can't be sure the alleged dare was the reason for David's death because no one saw him actually eat the lizard. 

a dog that is lying down and looking at the camera: David (pictured), who leaves behind his partner of 15 years Allira and three daughters Alissa, Claudia and Sage, has been referred to as 'a great person' and 'one of a kind' © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited David (pictured), who leaves behind his partner of 15 years Allira and three daughters Alissa, Claudia and Sage, has been referred to as 'a great person' and 'one of a kind'

What is Salmonella? 

She said while David may have been encouraged to complete the dare, he could potentially have indicated he was going to eat the gecko but then threw it away.  

'There has been no evidence that he actually ate it because there was: "Oh yeah I saw him eat it". And then: "No, I didn't see him eat it",' Hannah said. 

Despite speculation he ate the lizard, Hannah said David's family may never know for sure given no one who attended the party has confirmed it.   

a man wearing a hat: Last Tuesday, on what would have been his 35th birthday, David's family gathered beside the Logan River, where he often went fishing, to hold a vigil in his honour © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Last Tuesday, on what would have been his 35th birthday, David's family gathered beside the Logan River, where he often went fishing, to hold a vigil in his honour

University of Queensland school of agriculture and food sciences deputy head Mark Turner said the gecko theory could have led to a Salmonella infection. 

Mr Turner said there are a number of warm and cold-blooded animals that carry the Salmonella bacteria that can lead to poisoning, including snakes, frogs and geckos.

'It's possible that if the gecko was eaten, as it was being digested, the salmonella was released, but I have never heard of anything like this before,' Mr Turner said. 

David's family have since claimed he suffered organ failure because he 'basically rotted from the inside out'.     



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