Friday, 22 Sep 2023

Her calling: NSW father says daughters generosity was behind her death in Kambo frog toxin ritual

Her calling: NSW father says daughters generosity was behind her death in Kambo frog toxin ritual


Her calling: NSW father says daughters generosity was behind her death in Kambo frog toxin ritual

Natasha Lechner's father relived the final agonising moments of his only daughter's life through many lenses as he sat in the gallery of a Lismore courtroom for the inquest into her 2019 death.

Over several days he heard three medical experts - a toxicologist, a cardiologist and a pathologist - discuss the nature of her death and the likelihood of its relationship to the secretions of an Amazonian frog, which had been applied to burns on her skin during a "Kambo" ceremony moments before she died.

He heard from the woman who applied that frog mucus, a self-described experienced Kambo practitioner. Another woman told the inquest about how she had only just trained Lechner to conduct ceremonies deemed safe by the International Association of Kambo Practitioners (IAKP).

He had heard Dr Lorraine du Toit-Prinsloo describe 61 lesions in various stages of healing upon Lechner's body from where her skin had been burnt and Kambo applied. There were three burns on her chest and two on her arm that were angry and red at the time of her death, he and the inquest heard.

On Thursday it was Frank Lechner's chance to paint a picture of his late daughter.

"Right," he said, as he took to the stand and pulled a black-framed photograph of his daughter from a bag. "I thought I'd put a face to a name."

"Beautiful, absolutely beautiful," the state coroner Teresa O'Sullivan said.

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