A man could become a quadruple amputee after a spider bite became infected by a flesh-eating bug.
Terry Pareja has already had nine operations after the infection spread, which cost him both his legs and now it’s feared he will lose his arms too.
The dad-of-two was in his sister’s garden in Melbourne, Australia when he was believed to have been bitten by a white-tailed spider.
Just hours later Terry’s right leg began to swell and the next day became extremely painful. The following day he was rushed to Victoria’s Horsham Hospital.
Unfortunately the situation was already severe and the 65-year-old had his right leg amputated to try and stop the bacteria spreading further.
The doctors put the bug which was causing the infection down to two scary-sounding – but extremely rare – illnesses.
Necrotising arachnidism causes ulceration and skin loss and the second of the suspected bugs – necrotising fasciitis – causes tissue-affecting bacteria. Soon after his first amputation, he was airlifted to the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, where sadly his other leg was removed.
Terry still remains critically ill in the intensive care unit, where his kidneys are failing and he is vomiting blood.
Despite the amount of operations Terry has already endured, in a desperate bid to stop the quick spreading infection he may also need to have his arms amputated.
Although doctors can’t be absolutely sure, the white-tailed spider – which is a tiny two centimetres in length and grey-brown in colour – is believed to be the culprit behind the now almost lethal bite.
His daughter, Jeffmarey Pareja, said:
He is not fully coherent and is struggling a lot. He is in a great deal of pain.
We don’t believe his illness is caused from any poison released by the spider, as the spider’s venom isn’t poisonous to humans, but rather by bacteria passed in via the wound.
To make matters worse, Terry travelled to Australia without travel insurance and with his treatment costs spiralling into the tens of thousands of dollars, Jeffmarey is now planning to sell her house and the family have set up a crowdfunder.
We do not have much and we are not rich. I am knocking on your hearts to help with my dad’s medication and hospital bills.
Our thoughts are with Terry and his family at this difficult time in the hope he can pull through into recovery.