A father-of-three has died in agony after eating a deadly pufferfish he had been given as a present by a friend.
Magno Sergio Gomes, 46, spent 35 days in hospital in Aracruz, in the Brazilian state of Espirito Santos, paralysed by the toxins before dying on 27th January.
His sister Myrian Gomes Lopes told how Magno fell ill just minutes after tucking into the deadly dish with his pal, who miraculously survived.
Pufferfish are notorious for the deadly poison found in their liver and other organs.
But some species are so toxic that even their skin is deadly and even the tiniest morsel of liver can kill.
Heartbroken Myrian explained that her brother and his pal had simply gutted the fish and removed its liver before boiling it and eating it with lemon juice.
She said: “We don’t know where the fish came from, whether it was caught or farmed.
“They cleaned the pufferfish and ate it. Magno had never cleaned pufferfish before.”
She said that her brother and his friend began feeling ill just 45 minutes later.
Myrian said: “Magno started to feel numb in his mouth. Then he went with his wife to the hospital, driving his own car.
“When he got there, his mouth was even more numb, and he felt sick.
“Soon after, he had a cardiac arrest that lasted eight minutes.”
Myrian revealed that her brother was intubated and put on life support but never recovered.
She explained: “The doctors told our family that he died from poisoning, which had quickly travelled to his head.
“Three days after being admitted, he had several seizures, which greatly affected his brain, leaving little chance of recovery.”
Myrian said that her brother’s friend, who has not been named, survived but is having trouble with his legs.
She said: “He’s already at home. With his legs, he’s not walking very well. He was neurologically impacted, but he is recovering.”
Maritime expert Joao Luiz Gasparini told local media that pufferfish are poisonous and are common along Brazil’s coasts.
He explained: “In Brazil, there are at least 20 species of pufferfish. In Espirito Santo, there are at least a dozen.
“They all contain a toxin called tetrodotoxin, which is very potent and can cause slight numbness when ingested in low quantities leading up to cardiorespiratory arrest when ingested in large quantities.”