Bradenton teen, Mom recovering from toxic fish poisoning - FOX 13 News

Bradenton teen, Mom recovering from toxic fish poisoning

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 There is one place you can usually find Austin Goncalves.

"Every chance he gets, he is on the water. He has been fishing since he could hold a fishing pole," said his sister Christina Martin.

A trip to the Bahamas with his mom, her boyfriend and a friend seemed perfect, until about half way through.

"They were all throwing up. They couldn't even get up out of bed to make it to the bathroom. At that point they all started going unconscious," Martin said.

The trip ended in a Bahamian hospital. It turned out they all had Ciguatera poisoning, which comes from fish that eat contaminated algae.

No matter how well the fish is cooked, you can still be poisoned.

Doctors believe the poisoning came from the fish speared by Austin off a reef.

"He was just on oxygen at this point, and an IV," his sister said.

Martin got the phone call late one night.

"I have never really had anyone in my family go through this. So it was rough," she said.

She was told Austin and the others were going through a wide range of symptoms -- Austin had it the worst.

"It is scary thinking that you can eat one piece of fish and wind up in a coma," Martin said.

Austin and his mother were flown from the Bahamas to Miami where he is still undergoing treatment.

He is getting better.

"He started coming back, his seizure activity started decreasing and he was able to start squeezing my hand," Martin said.

On the phone, Austin's mother Karen Goncalves told FOX 13 he has a long way to go.

"He tires out very easily, and he has to have someone watch him 24 hours because of his seizures," Goncalves said.

She wants others to be warned.

"If you do eat some fish and you get very sick, you need to get somewhere and get treatment," she said.

As for Austin, he will be on his way home to continue recovering.

"I'm just hoping that he makes a full recovery and he can get back to his normal life," Martin said.

A benefit will be held for Austin on Saturday, August 2nd from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It will be held at the Blue Marlin restaurant on Bridge Street on Bradenton Beach.

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