A British man who was exposed to the deadly nerve agent Novichok said he is struggling with his eyesight and mobility, and fears the poison will kill him within a decade.
Charlie Rowley, 45, fell ill in June near Salisbury, England, after coming into contact with the Soviet-developed nerve agent that was used months earlier to attack former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter. Rowley, Skripal and his daughter survived, but Rowley’s partner Dawn Sturgess, who was also exposed, died in the hospital.
Rowley told the Sunday Mirror newspaper that he was back in the hospital being treated for meningitis. He said he was going blind and unable to use one arm, and said he was “terrified about the future” and what long-term effects the military grade poison would have on him.
“I’m still worried the Novichok could kill me if I get any sort of virus again — it’s on my mind all the time. I’m dreading getting a cold,” he said. “I don’t think I’ll be alive in 10 years. It’s been horrendous.”
Britain accuses Russia of carrying out the poisoning of the Skripals, a claim Moscow denies.
Rowley and Sturgess collapsed after they handled a small bottle containing the nerve agent, believed to have been discarded by the Skripals’ attackers.
Britain charged two alleged Russian military intelligence agents in absentia for the attack. The pair denied their involvement on Russian television.
The Skripals’ poisoning ignited a diplomatic confrontation in which hundreds of envoys were expelled by both Russia and Western nations.