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Woman Killed By Mushrooms Picked In Garden

A woman died after she ate one of the world's most poisonous mushrooms that she unwittingly picked from her garden in Somerset, an inquest has heard.

Christina Hale died from multiple organ failure five days after using death caps while cooking her and her husband an evening meal.

The death cap is so poisonous that eating just half of one can be fatal and there is no antidote.

Mrs Hale had gathered the deadly fungi at the couple's Bridgwater home and used them to make mushroom soup last November.

Her husband, Jocelyn Lynch, survived because he ate a smaller amount than his wife.

Speaking at the inquest in Taunton, Mr Lynch said: "We had picked mushrooms for soup before. She hadn't done it on her own before.

"Normally it was added to a can of Campbell's condensed soup."

The couple began to feel unwell the morning after the meal and were forced to spend the night in separate bathrooms with vomiting and diarrhoea.

It wasn't until the next morning that they rang an out-of-hours doctor, complaining of having "eaten some dodgy mushrooms".

Later that evening she was rushed to Musgrove Park Hospital by ambulance, where her heart stopped at least four times and her kidney and liver failed.

Mrs Hale died in intensive care surrounded by her family the following day.

The coroner was satisfied that the delay in receiving hospital treatment had not reduced her chance of recovering.

Michael Rose, from West Somerset Coroner's Court, said: "Half a mushroom has been known to kill people.

"The assault that had been made from the toxins into the body of Christina was too great to survive."

He recorded a verdict of death by misadventure.