A mother and daughter from Queensland both died only hours after arriving for a holiday in Bali, they had both eaten mahi mahi fish. Staff at the restaurant where they ate insist it is impossible that the fish is to blame, as many other customers had ordered and eaten it that night and nobody else fell ill. Noelene Bischoff and her 14-year-old daughter Yvana did though. In what have been described as “freakish deaths” they went back to their room for a short while after the meal, but had to ring security to raise the alarm they were both terribly unwell. It was the distraught 14-year-old Yvana who made that call, her mother was already too sick to speak.
A private ambulance took them straight to the nearest hospital, but Noelene died before it arrived there. She lost her life in the ambulance a mere fifteen minutes into the dash for emergency help. Yvana, her daughter, was then rushed to a larger hospital the BIMC Clinic in Denpasar, and although still conscious on arrival, she too, soon died.
The pair had arrived on the idyllic holiday island of Bali on Friday and checked in to the Padanag Bai Beach Resort by 3pm for a much looked forward to dream holiday. They were exceptionally close, like “best friends” and Noelene’s mother Jean has told Australia’s Network Ten News that it is a blessing they were both taken at once. Neither, she said, could ever cope without the other.
Indonesian Law allows for an autopsy to take place without waiting for permission, and this is expected to take place today. Before these results become known, the deaths of the mother and daughter remain a puzzling and tragic mystery. Kevin Bowe, the brother-in-law of Ms Bischoff said he was told by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Food, that the toxic fish was most likely the cause.
Police have been checking the room occupied by the mother and daughter and report that they have found a large amount of different medicines, most of them were from abroad, as the little family took many trips together. Noelene Bischoff had raised Yvana by herself and worked hard as a managing nurse at Caloundra Hospital on the Sunshine Coast. They had previously been to Thailand, Fiji, New Zealand and Vanuatu.
Noelene Bischoff’s sister, Desley, finds it strange that her sister who was a highly qualified medical professional, with a master’s degree as well as a bachelor of clinical medicine could die in such a fashion. She had been to Bali before and as a young woman had backpacked all over Europe. She was neither unused to travel nor how to take correct medication. Desley plans to fly to Bali to bring the bodies of her sister and niece home.
Yvana was in year 8 and her school community from the Caloundra Christian College will hold a memorial for her on Thursday.
Chief of criminal investigations in Karangasem, Adnan Pangibu, is in charge of the case. He has revealed that the receipt from the Buddha Bar restaurant found in Noelene’s purse showed that the pair had ordered the mahi mahi fish,as well as chicken curry and a vegetarian pizza. For drinks they had fresh juices. The entire bill came to less than $20. If toxins in the fish are the cause of death it is strange that they are the only victims. Neither had any allergies nor carried an EpiPen. They loved seafood and had it often. Staff are said to be quite sure that they did not see Yvana eat any of the fish and that many other guests ordered and ate it that fateful night.
The shocked and grieving Bischoff family believe the $6 plate of toxic fish must be the cause of their loved ones deaths.
By Kate Henderson