M'sian man, 84, dies 2 weeks after his wife, 83, died, both ate poisonous pufferfish

The man's condition improved before it deteriorated.

Tan Min-Wei | April 09, 2023, 06:40 PM

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An elderly Malaysian man, 84, passed away after his wife died two weeks earlier, following the consumption of poisonous pufferfish together during a meal.

The woman, 83 passed away on Mar. 25, the same day she ate the fish.

Her husband died two weeks later on Apr. 8 of a pulmonary embolism after spending time in the intensive care unit.

Appeared to be improving

Ng Chuan Sing and his wife, Lim Siew Guan, were both admitted to Enche' Besar Hajjah Kalsom Hospital's Intensive Care Unit on Mar. 25, the same day that the pair had eaten the fish for lunch, according to New Straits Times.

Lim began to show symptoms of poisoning, such as breathing difficulties and shivers, after just three hours.

Ng also showed symptoms about an hour later.

They were taken to the hospital by their son, but Lim was pronounced dead at 7pm.

Ng was warded in the ICU.

According to The Star, Ng had appeared to be improving following his ICU stint.

He had woken from his coma eight days after being admitted, but his conditioned worsened again.

Two days prior to his death, his condition had improved enough that he was admitted to a normal ward.

His daughter, Ng Ai Lee, said she had spoken to her father normally the day before he passed away, and that his death was unexpected.

She said the hospital had attributed Ng's death to a pulmonary embolism.

Not their place to judge

Ng's daughter told The Star that she welcomed the fishmonger who sold the fish to pay his last respects at her father's funeral, but that he has yet to come forward.

Ng and Lim were regular customers of his.

On the morning of the fateful day, Ng had received five pufferfish from the fishmonger, after ordering the fish online.

The daughter said it was neither her place nor the public's place to judge the fishmonger, and if he was at fault "the government would bring him to court".

Careful when choosing foods

Ling Tian Soon, chairman of the Johor Health and Unity Committee told New Straits Times that the Kluang District Health Office has opened an investigation to look into the deaths.

The Johor State Health Department has already investigated the matter and identified those involved in the transaction.

Ling also reminded Johoreans to always be careful when choosing food, especially if it has known risks.

Sale of pufferfish is controlled in Singapore.

The import of pufferfish is allowed but they have to be prepared by licensed chefs in Japan.

The Singapore Food Agency also advised against eating pufferfish caught and prepared by amateurs, but generally advised avoiding consuming pufferfish at all.

Top images via Ng Ai Ling/em>