The mother of a five-year-old boy from southern China who has been in intensive care for more than two weeks since apparently swallowing rat poison at school fears her son may never recover.
“The doctors said the possibility of saving him is nearly zero,” the woman, surnamed Tang, said in a report by online news platform PearVideo.
The youngster, who was not named, fell ill on October 22 after eating his lunch at the Xindi Students Service kindergarten in Zhuhai, Guangdong province.
He complained of having a stomach ache and then began vomiting and having convulsions, the report said. His teachers called the emergency services and the boy was taken to hospital, where he was put into intensive care but suffered a cardiac arrest.
The boy was later moved to a specialist hospital in Guangzhou, the provincial capital, but Tang said it was there that she was given the terrible news.
“They suspect it might have been rat poison that made him sick,” she said.
According to the report, after carrying out a urine test on the boy doctors found fluoroacetamide, an organic compound used in rat poison, in his system.
As well as the cardiac arrest, the youngster had suffered a build-up of fluid on his brain, his heart muscle was inflamed and he was now dependent on a life support machine, the report said.
Tang said a member of staff from the kindergarten called her about 4pm on October 22 to tell her her son was sick.
“Another child also suffered stomach ache and diarrhoea,” she said. “But the symptoms were not as severe.”
Police said in a statement on Tuesday that the school had been closed pending an investigation, but that there had been no reports of other pupils experiencing similar symptoms.
Calls to the kindergarten went unanswered on Thursday.