British nerve agent victim regains consciousness

11 July 2018

British nerve agent victim regains consciousness

A British man exposed to a nerve agent in England’s south 10 days ago has regained consciousness and is in a critical but stable condition, according to Salisbury District Hospital.

The man, 45-year-old Charlie Rowley, and his partner Dawn Sturgess were poisoned by what investigators believe is the same nerve agent that hospitalised former Russian spy Sergey Skripal and his daughter in March.

Ms Sturgess died as a result of her poisoning on Sunday.

“We have seen a small but significant improvement in the condition of Charlie Rowley,” said Lorna Wilkinson, Director of Nursing at Salisbury District Hospital.

“He is in a critical but stable condition, and is now conscious.”

The couple were poisoned in the Wilshire town of Amesbury, approximately 13km from Salisbury, the site of the Skripal incident.

Police are now conducting a murder investigation following Ms Sturgess’ death.

“Dawn will always be remembered by us as a gentle soul who was generous to a fault,” Ms Sturgess’ family said in a statement released by London’s Metropolitan Police.

“She had the biggest of hearts, and she will be dreadfully missed by both her immediate and wider family.”

Currently, it is understood that Mr Rowley and Ms Sturgess handled an item contaminated by a nerve agent identical, or at least similar, to the Novichok series developed by the Soviet military during the 1970s and 1980s.

Investigators have not yet determined how the couple came into contact with the nerve agent, the toxin’s source, or whether it is related to the poisoning of the Skripals.