He survived an attempted poisoning by his colleague in the chemistry lab at Queen’s University, now he waits, unsure if or when he’ll develop cancer as a result of his exposure to a dangerous chemical compound.
The victim, a married father of two who, at the time of the attack, was a postdoctoral fellow at Queen’s, knows all about N-nitrosodimethylamine, or NDMA, the poison slipped into his food and drink in January. It’s a compound used to manifest cancer in lab rats that, in sufficient doses, can be deadly to humans. He lived through the agonizing nights of pain and vomiting, but his long-term fate remains clouded in doubt.
“The tests have not detected cancer, but that doesn’t mean I’m out of harm’s way,” the victim, who asked not to be identified publicly, told a Kingston court on Friday. “The long-term psychological fear is singularly cruel.”
The victim stood just a few feet from the man who admitted poisoning him and described the devastating fear and uncertainty he has suffered over the past 10 months. He said he recently developed lumps in his chest and is still awaiting new test results. Meanwhile, he can’t bear to tell his parents in China what has happened and he feels estranged from his old friends and his work in the lab.If my labmate tried to poison me during grad school, I'd have a pretty hard time getting back to my research as well...