Aussie teen fights for life after Indo drink spike

A 19-year-old Perth man was fighting for his life in hospital last night with suspected methanol poisoning from a drink on the Indonesian island of Lombok.


Liam Davies, of Marmion, was flown from Indonesia, where he had been on holiday to celebrate New Year’s Eve with a friend and the friend’s father, and is understood to have arrived at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital early yesterday.

A hospital spokeswoman said last night he was in a critical condition on life support.

A family friend, who did not wish to be named, said Mr Davies, a roof carpenter, was a really great person from a beautiful family.

It is understood he went to Churchlands Senior High School and was a promising player with Wembley Lacrosse Club.

He represented Australia at the 2008 under-19 World Lacrosse Championships.

His parents and two younger brothers were believed to be at his hospital bedside.

His brother posted on Facebook that the family would pass on get-well messages from Liam’s friends when they visited him in intensive care.

He would not be the first tourist poisoned on the popular islands.

In September 2011, prominent Perth rugby player Michael Denton, 29, died in Sanglah Hospital after having a drink containing methanol on a Bali trip with his teammates. An autopsy found he died from methanol poisoning.

Mr Denton’s death came three days after Sydney nurse Jamie Johnston suffered brain damage and kidney failure from a methanol-laced drink at the Happy Cafe restaurant on Lombok.

In June, Swedish man Johan Lundin, 28, had a poisoned mojito on Gili Trawangan island, near Lombok, that his fiancee said was laced with methanol.

Last month, emergency doctors warned tourists in Bali about the dangers of tainted drinks after an 18-year-old Sydney school leaver was temporarily blinded after drinking at popular bars in Denpasar.

Volunteer group Red Frogs, which helps school leavers during their annual celebrations, headed to Bali for the first time last year.

It told a Sunday newspaper last week that its workers treated five leavers and took them to hospital with suspected methanol poisoning but suspected the real number was much higher.

Two years ago, 25 Bali locals died from a deadly home concoction that police said contained methanol. A few months later 22 people died and 300 others suffered poisoning after drinking bootleg liquor laced with methanol in Central Java.

In two weeks in 2009, at least four foreigners were among 25 people who died from methanol poisoning in Bali and Lombok and more than 50 other people needed hospital treatment.

Poisonings have risen since an Indonesian Government crackdown on overseas alcohol made taxes on foreign drinks rocket.

Ross Taylor, chairman of the WA-based Indonesia Institute, said the latest methanol incident was extremely worrying but it was not overly surprising that such incidents were increasing.

Read more, here.

Source: The West Australian


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