Maybe they should have gone to the supermarket.

A mother and son in Massachusetts nearly died after they ate a highly toxic mushroom they had foraged from a friend’s backyard. 

Kai Chen, 27, and his mother Kam Look, 63, who live in Amherst, had been scouring for fungi in September when the pair came across a mushroom reminiscent of the kind Look ate when growing up in Malaysia, Fox News reported.

A picture of a mushroom that almost killed an Amherst mother and son.
Kai Chen, 27, and his mother Kam Look, 63, had been looking for fungi when they came across a mushroom reminiscent of what Look ate when growing up in Malaysia.
UMass Memorial Medical Center

But the variety they plucked turned out to be an Amanita phalloides, also known as a death cap mushroom. Most mushroom deaths worldwide are caused by Amanita phalloides, according to the CDC.

The toxic mushroom left the mother and son with symptoms akin to extreme food poisoning, and they were eventually treated at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester.

A picture of Kai Chen, center, and his mother, thank their UMass Memorial Health care team, for helping.
The mother and son duo were treated at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester after eating the toxic mushroom.
Umass Memorial Medical Center

“For both of us what it felt like was that we were really in imminent danger,” Chen told CBS Boston. 

A new experimental drug had to be flown in from Philadelphia to stabilize the pair. Look ultimately required a liver transplant.  



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