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22nd Feb 2023

Dad left paralysed and lucky to be alive after eating chicken bhuna

Charlie Herbert

He has made a miraculous recovery

A dad of two has spoke out about how he was left paralysed and almost killed after he ate a dodgy chicken bhuna.

David Miller, 43, tucked into his normal chicken Bhuna curry order from his favourite Indian takeaway in London, but was quickly struck down with severe food poisoning which left him unable to breathe properly.

He also couldn’t walk or see clearly.

He suffered from a stomach bug for two months, and started feeling tingling in his hands and feet a couple of months after that.

This lead to near-full paralysis, meaning he had to spend two and a half months in hospital and needed a wheelchair to get around.

David had severe food poisoning, which compromised his immune system (SWNS)

He was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome, caused when the immune system is low.

He said: “It was pretty scary. Obviously we didn’t go back to that restaurant again.

“It was a steep decline – I went from having tingling and pins and needles in my hands and feet to needing a wheelchair to get into hospital a week later.

“Some people die from this syndrome. It works its way from the extremities through your core and can stop your breathing.

“Imagine looking at your body and trying to make it move and it doesn’t.”

He first fell ill in 2016 but has now chosen to speak about his miraculous six-year recovery from the illness.

David suspects that it all stemmed from the food poisoning he thinks he caught from the chicken curry.

This lasted a week and led to David suffering from painful gastroenteritis for two months.

The food poisoning combined with the painful stomach bug meant his immune system was compromised.

Then, he started suffering from numbness and tingling over Christmas.

A week later he was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare and serious condition which can lead to life-long problems.

It happens when a weakened immune system starts to attack its own nerve cells, damaging them.

David was admitted to hospital in early January 2017 and put into intensive care after his breathing became compromised.

The father of two daughters, Elise, now seven, and Eva, three, said: “I was worried about my breathing, I could tell I wasn’t breathing strongly.

“I was never fully paralysed, I still had some movement in my hips but not enough to even roll over in bed with.”

He remembers not even being able to watch football properly, as the nerve damage had affected his eyes and ability to focus them.

His wife Kirsty was at home with their 18-month-old baby girl Elise, who didn’t recognise him in the hospital bed.

David said: “I remember my wife putting her on me when I was lying in bed.

“Elise very clearly didn’t want to be there. It was upsetting, certainly odd.”

When David was released from hospital two and a half months later he was still using crutches and walking sticks to move around and installed grab rails around their new house.

He said: “It does make you think about food and the knock-on effect.

“It was a year of my life that it affected. My eating habits haven’t really changed, but it does make you think.”

He has since made a miraculous recovery with no sign of any lasting side effects. His recovery has been so good that he is now preparing to run his first marathon after the incident.

He said: “It makes you think a little bit more about life and focus on the now.

“I’ve been doing that more recently. I’ve taken more time off work and being ill was definitely a contributing factor in that.

“With the marathon I’m raising money for the John Muir Trust.

“I’ve been worrying about the future more recently and the money raised will go to protecting our forests.”

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