A 65-year-old man visiting Victoria, Australia, from the Philippines has had his right leg amputated and may lose his left leg and arms as well after a white-tailed spider bit him in late February.
Terry Pareja, a father of two, was in his sister's garden in Birchip, northwest Victoria, when he was bitten by the spider. White-tailed spider bites generally cause nausea and burning pain followed by swelling.
In rare cases the bite causes a reaction similar to gangrene. The Museum of Victoria says there have been 12 cases in the last 10 years that resulted in a "necrotic reaction resulting in severe skin damage," however the cases couldn't be directly linked to the white tailed spider after the people who had been affected struggled to identify what bit them.
Pareja was bitten on a Friday, however there were no doctors available in the small town of Birchip. By Monday, when he did seek medical help, the flesh eating bacteria from the bite had taken hold.
According to a GoFundMe set up by Pareja's daughter, Jeffmarey, he is now in ICU after both of his kidneys stopped functioning: "Doctors also discovered that the necrotising fasciitis (flesh eating bacteria) is still there and suggested that they would also amputate the other leg and both arms."
Jeffmarey Pareja is asking for donations to cover the cost of hospital bills and medication.
Brad Esposito is a news reporter for BuzzFeed and is based in Sydney, Australia.
Contact Brad Esposito at email@example.com.
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