WORCESTER, MASS. (WHDH) - A mother and son from Amherst escaped a close call after eating poisonous mushrooms from a friend’s yard that closely resembled another mushroom they used to eat in their home country of Malaysia.

“The mushrooms looked exactly like the mushrooms we have in back our home country, which for them, back in their home country, was fine to eat, it was actually considered healthy,” said Kai Chen, the son.

What his mother thought was a brown cap mushroom turned out to be a death cap mushroom. Shortly after eating the mushrooms, their conditions quickly started to take a turn.

They both went to the UMass Memorial Medical Center, where doctors diagnosed them with life-threatening liver damage. The doctors had medicine flown in from Philadelphia to help the mother and son.

“The cure that we were able to provide for this family was really a herculean effort between dozens and dozens of divisions and health care providers,” said Dr. Stephanie Carreiro of UMass Memorial.

Doctors said the death toll for this type of illness is usually between 30% and 50%. Although Chen began to recover, his mother, Kam Look, required a liver transplant.

She said she wanted to share her story with others so no one else makes the same mistake.

Using her son as a translator, she said this should be treated as a “cautionary tale” to be careful of what you find in the woods.

Doctors said over 700 people in the U.S. annually get sick from eating poisonous mushrooms.

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