The Grapevine

Doctors Explain Why Man Died After Eating Gecko On Dare

David Dowell, a dad from Australia, have recently passed away from what’s considered a very “agonizing death” after being rushed to a hospital due to a supposed shocking salmonella infection. However, sources are stating that it may have been much extreme than salmonella: a tapeworm infection from a gecko he ate for a dare.

A horrible death

Previously, the 34-year old Mr. Dowell was dared to eat a gecko during a Christmas bash last December, which he did. Within days of doing so, he then began vomiting green bile, with his stomach bloating to the point that he looked pregnant. Even worse, both his testicles swelled to the size of a grapefruit and strange fluid leaked from them. Fluid also started filling up his lungs.

Initially, the reason behind it was tagged as an extreme salmonella infection. However, according to doctors, the symptoms Mr. Dowell showed were much more extreme for salmonella. There was also evidence of liver failure and abdominal obstruction, both of which are uncommon for bacteria.

Furthermore, a taxonomist and ecologist specializing in Asian house gecko parasites says that a Spirometra tapeworm may have been responsible for Dowell’s death. Growing up to 4 ft. in length, Spirometra can be found in snakes, frogs and geckos, and also go into mammals like cats and quolls, where they attack and grow.

“ These particular parasites are a problem. In their life cycle, they wander through the host, go through the tissues and get lost as they try to find their way to the lungs and end up in the meninges (the protective layers of the brain and spinal cord),” Dr. Diane Barton said.

A day after he was admitted to the hospital, Mr. Dowell’s partner of 15 years Allira was told by a friend that they might have seen him eat a gecko during the party.

“It was a dare, so he might have intended to eat it and then thrown it away. At the end of the day, we don’t know whether he actually ate the gecko. David never mentioned it ,” she said.

Less than two weeks after the party, Mr. Dowell died while in surgery.

Salmonella bacteria Salmonella is a group of bacteria that causes infection and sickness. Wikimedia