Toxicologist Lin Chieh-liang (林杰樑) was hospitalized at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Linkou after fainting shortly after getting out of bed yesterday morning.
Lin had been diagnosed with pneumonia and a complication of pulmonary edema, hospital vice superintendent Yen Sen-chou (葉森洲) said.
Lin’s condition took a turn for the worse after 3:30pm and he was sent into intensive care and was connected to an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation machine, Yen said.
The 57-year-old toxicologist became a household name in the nation after a wave of food scares in recent years.
He gave advice to the public during the plasticizer food scare scare in 2011, and has also written several books.
Few outside the medical community know that Lin is also a certified nephrologist, after having come down with an illness which had a complication of nephritis during medical school.
Lin is known to say: “As a nephorologist I can only save one person at a time, but as a toxicologist, I can disseminate knowledge about toxins and save hundreds of thousands of people.”
Lin has had to undergo dialysis for more than three decades, Lin’s wife said, but he never had a recurrence of the problem he had in medical school.
The news of Lin being hospitalized brought a wave of good wishes from netizens, including firefighters at the Taipei City Fire Department and across the nation.
Lin recently donated firefighting equipment to the city.
The family thanks the public for their concern, Lin’s wife said yesterday.