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New Livers for Couple Poisoned by Mushrooms Tue Aug 27,10:52 AM ET
ROME (Reuters) - An Italian couple who mistakenly ate lethal Death Cap mushrooms have undergone emergency liver transplants in a desperate bid to save their lives, a hospital spokesman said Monday.
The married couple, who were not named, ate the highly poisonous fungus last week while on holiday in central Italy and were rushed to hospital in the city of Bologna just hours later after falling violently ill.
The man and woman, ages 44 and 39, respectively, slipped into comas Saturday. Four teams of surgeons carried out the 5-hour-long liver transplants Sunday, and the pair are recovering in intensive care.
Mushroom hunting is a popular hobby in Italy, and following summer rains thousands of people scour the countryside in search of edible mushrooms.
However, some mushrooms can be deadly, and the Death Cap fungus is regarded as one of the most lethal plants known to science. A single bite into the white-fleshed mushroom can prove fatal, with its toxins attacking primarily the liver.