A mother has told how a ‘toxic’ bracelet which caused a public health scare caused her to lose her boyfriend, her home and her job.
Jo Wollacott, 40, suffered abscesses, hives and hallucinations after buying the Jequirity bean bracelet for £1 on eBay two years ago.
Her life fell apart and her mental health deteriorated so much she had to be sectioned in a clinic.
Ms Wollacott thought it was down to bad luck until she read a public health warning about the bracelets, revealing the beans contained the banned toxin abrin.
The substance is prohibited under the Terrorism Act because just three micrograms could kill if swallowed.
The mother of two said: ‘Everybody around me thought my life was just spiralling out of control because I was going through a stressful time.
But now I realise that my problems started when I bought this bracelet.
When I found out hallucinations were part of the side effects of the poisoning I started to piece things together.’
Ms Wollacott, from Bridport, Dorset, wore only one of a batch of the red-and-black ‘love’ bracelets she bought from the internet auction site in April 2010.
Since sealing it in a box in December her health has been transformed.
The Health Protection Agency said: ‘Abrin is a poison and even small amounts, if ingested, can be fatal.’
When English motorist Paul Wiseman began to feel seriously unwell a Good Samaritan appeared to be close at hand. But the man who for called an ambulance was also a car clamper.
After calling the emergency service he then continued to clamp his vehicle as Mr Wiseman was sent to hospital gasping for air.
Paul Wiseman had pulled over in a no-parking zone when he started to feel unwell but was targeted by an employee of the clamping firm Carstoppers Ltd as soon as he had stopped.
The 55-year-old father-of-two claimed he tried to stop employee Gareth Evans clamping his vehicle but was so ill that he slumped against his Mercedes van while he was struggling for breath.
Mr Wiseman, of Keighley, says Mr Evans then paused to call an ambulance but continued to clamp the van as Mr Wiseman was rushed away with blue lights flashing from the scene in Skipton.
Mr Wiseman, who runs his own cutting tool distribution business, said: “I pulled over in Devonshire Place when I started to feel ill at about 1pm. I didn’t realise it was the back of a business premises, I just needed to stop because I didn’t feel right. My son Chris had jumped out of the van to get me a sandwich. While I was waiting I saw this car come hurtling up to me and pull in front.
“This man rushed towards me carrying the yellow clamp and I got out to ask him what he was doing. I stood in front so he couldn’t do it. He was trying to get me out of the way so I pushed him backwards. I felt unwell, exhausted and was struggling to get my breath. And when I turned towards the van door I collapsed onto the floor of the van. He got out his phone and rang for an ambulance, but even though he could see I was unwell, he started to clamp my van. I wasn’t in any fit state to control what was going on and to take advantage of someone in my position is despicable.
“I’m furious about it now but at the time I was more concerned about what was wrong with me.”
He said his son Chris was confronted by Mr Evans, who handed him a document that said he would have to pay £150 to release the clamp.
“Obviously Chris was worried about me and wanted to come with me to hospital so there was no point in arguing,” said Mr Wiseman. “He had no choice but to go to the nearest cash machine, draw out the money and hand it over.”
Mr Wiseman was in hospital until around 5pm as his blood pressure ‘had shot up’. He is now awaiting further tests to find out what caused his illness.
A Kansas City woman was left sitting in a vinyl recliner for so long that her skin had fused to the chair.
She had to be pried out to be taken to a hospital after suffering an apparent stroke, police said.
Carol F. Brown’s adult son told a state official he had left his 74-year-old mother in the chair for five days without helping her get up to use the bathroom or bathe because he was honoring her wishes to die in her Independence home.
Court documents described the woman as a “rotting corpse that was still breathing.” Brown later died.
“It is an incredible story to me,” Independence police spokesman Tom Gentry said Wednesday.
Police were contacted after Brown was taken to a hospital Oct. 27 and found to have a maggot infestation inside an open wound around her ankle, according to the court documents that said Brown’s home was “filthy with a heavy smell of bodily fluids and feces.”
Brown’s son, James Owens, told an official with the Missouri Division of Senior and Disability Services that his mother had been in the chair since Oct. 23 and that he was honoring her wishes to be left to die, the documents said.
Owens, who the documents said had started the application process to gain state aid to be his mother’s caretaker, said he did give the woman tomato and chicken noodle soup.
No working telephone listing for a James Owens could be found Wednesday and a number listed under Brown’s name rang unanswered.
Police who searched Brown’s home took prescription drug bottles and pills, a section of the recliner and a soiled towel, court records show.
Jackson County prosecutor’s office spokesman Mike Mansur said no decision will be made about possible charges until the medical examiner rules on Brown’s cause of death.
“I’ve heard it could take some time,” Mansur said. “I don’t yet know how quickly it will come.”