BLAST FROM THE PAST - Mushrooms poisoned couple

OCTOBER 18, 1977 The top stories in the Reflector on this date 30 years ago:
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Jul 25, 2010


OCTOBER 18, 1977

The top stories in the Reflector on this date 30 years ago:

Mushrooms poison a Norwalk couple

CLEVELAND - A Norwalk couple poisoned last weekend by some mushrooms they picked and ate may owe their lives to an experimental drug flown here from Maryland.

John D. Goosetree, 53, and his wife, Eunice, 52, are in fair condition this morning at St. Luke's Hospital.

The Goostrees, 60 Gallup Ave., were brought here by ambulance Sunday after eating the mushrooms Saturday for lunch.

Dr. Burton Berkson, an expert in the study of fungi, said he is optimistic about treating the Goostrees because they were administered the experimental drug, thioctic acid, early. The drug, flown here Monday from the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Md., protects the liver from the effects of the poison.

The Goostrees were poisoned by the Amanita verna, commonly called the Death Angel and the deadliest of all mushrooms. The mushroom is the same type that killed an 11-year-old Brook Park girl last month.

The Goostrees picked the mushrooms at a roadside park off Interstate 71 west of Sunbury Friday. They were returning from Columbus where they had helped a daughter move, according to Michael, a son.

Mrs. Goostree fried the mushrooms in a batter on Saturday and the couple ate them for lunch.

Goostree became ill early Sunday morning and was taken to Fisher-Titus Memorial Hospital at 4:19 a.m., ambulance records show. He was transferred to St. Luke at 10:30 a.m. Mrs. Goostree accompanied him, but didn't become ill until the ambulance reached the hospital here, ambulance personnel said.

Examination of food left over from Saturday's lunch showed parts of 19 harmless mushrooms and the stalk of one Amanita verna, Dr. Berkson said.

The family dog, a small female terrier named Samantha, was poisoned by the mushrooms and put to sleep this morning at the request of Mrs. Goostree, Norwalk veterinarian Lawrence Gfell said.

"They were going through so much misery and suffering that they didn't want the dog to suffer," reported Dr. Gfell. "There was no drug for the dog," which was having "severe spasms."

Skull no mystery

Huron County historian Henry Timman says there is no big mystery about a skull unearthed by construction workers on a Center Street lot in Milan.

Timman says the lot was the site of the first cemetery in Milan. He added he doubts the skull dates back to the 18th century as some have theorized.

The skull was unearthed last week by workers building a new rectory for St. Anthony's Catholic Church.

Scramble event winners

The winners of the four-man golf scramble at Sycamore Hills faced 42 degree temperatures Sunday during the course of an 18-hole tournament. Pictured in the paper were Russ Homes Jr., Don Hohler, Jim Durbin and Jim Zellner, the winning team, which shot 11 under par. Also pictured were Bob McGuckin, the A Flight Champion, and Dick Coe, runner-up.

Compiled by Andy Prutsok