Brisbane dad David Dowell, 34, felt ill after a Christmas party on December 1 last year. Initially he thought it was just a hangover but then he started showing symptoms of severe food poisoning or gastro.
'It was coming out both ends and he was really sick and the moment he started throwing up and it was green, that’s when they rang the ambulance,' his sister Hannah told the Brisbane Times.
'When they got there, the (paramedics) didn’t even want to take him (to hospital). They said he just had gastro and his partner said: "no, you've got to take him; it’s not just gastro".'
The next day at Mater Hospital he was diagnosed with a salmonella infection which the family thought had been caused by chicken.
Salmonella infection is a common bacterial disease that affects the intestinal tract. In most cases it causes severe gastro but in rare cases it can lead to death.
As David's condition worsened, his partner of 15 years, Allira, then remembered that at the party he'd been dared to eat a gecko at the Christmas party.
'The doctor said 'that could have been it,' said Hannah.
David's condition worsened and he became bloated, his urine was black, his vomit was green and after a few days he had fluid on his lungs.
'When I went up and saw him, he was just in absolute agony,' Hannah told the Brisbane Times.
Sadly 10 days after eating the gecko David died during an operation. His family say David suffered mass organ failure and 'rotted from the inside out'.
Now they are calling for a coronial inquest into his death and are seeking answers from the hospital about his care and treatment.