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Man Warns Brits About UK Spiders After False Widow Left Him One Day From Death

Man Warns Brits About UK Spiders After False Widow Left Him One Day From Death

Warning: Graphic Content

A man has warned that he was just one day from death after he was bitten by a false widow spider.

Christopher Tapp, from Tonbridge in Kent, was clearing out some containers at work when he spotted a small bite on his right leg, thinking nothing of it.

That was until it started to swell and grew into a huge lump that left the 24-year-old in agonising pain. And despite the doctor advising antihistamines, the lump got bigger and bigger.

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Chris was eventually rushed into emergency surgery to remove the infected tissue from his leg.

Following tests on the tissue, doctors told Chris that if he had come in a day later, he would have died from blood poisoning.

Four years on and Chris is still worried about approaching any kind of spider.

He said: "I would say don't judge a book by its cover, in a sense. It's mainly the little spiders who are the worst. They're the most dangerous.

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The bite left him needing emergency surgery to remove the infected tissue. Credit: Kennedy News and Media
The bite left him needing emergency surgery to remove the infected tissue. Credit: Kennedy News and Media

"To be honest, people need to be more clued up on it but in this day and age people don't believe stuff they are told by the media.

"It's very hard to get something out there when you haven't experienced something like that yourself."

Adding: "It just takes that initial bite and that's it. It goes from there. You might have nothing happen, you might be like me. You can't chance it."

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Although Christopher never spotted the insect bite him, coworkers said they saw some false widow spiders in similar containers to the one Christopher had been clearing.

Christopher says he wants to warn people about the dangers of false widows. Credit: Kennedy News and Media
Christopher says he wants to warn people about the dangers of false widows. Credit: Kennedy News and Media

He says it took a couple of weeks before the wound became too painful to bear.

Christopher said: "Obviously it got worse and Christmas day became very painful. That's when I went to hospital.

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"I walked in there and showed the nurse and she went and got a doctor. He was like, 'We need to get you into surgery now'. I got put into surgery within the space of two hours.

"They took it all out, basically. He said if I had come in on Boxing Day, I wouldn't have come in because I probably would have died of blood poisoning."

Christopher still has a scar following surgery. Credit: Kennedy News and Media
Christopher still has a scar following surgery. Credit: Kennedy News and Media

Adding: "It was scary, because if I had left it for another day, I probably wouldn't have been here. We tend to say, 'I'll be alright' but obviously not."

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Following the operation, Chris was left with a scar on his leg, which he says is a reminder of the importance of being careful around the little critters.

He says when people see it they don't believe it's from a spider.

Christopher said: "A lot of people are like, 'did you get stabbed in the leg or something?" Then I tell them and they're like, 'Oh god, really, a spider did that?'. Quite a few people are surprised.

"It definitely lingers with me. I find it itches at times. I also hate the look of it, as I'm not a very confident person when it comes to my body and that really doesn't help."

Featured Image Credit: PA/Kennedy News and Media

Topics: Spiders, Health

Dominic Smithers

Dominic graduated from the University of Leeds with a degree in French and History. Like you, Dom has often questioned how much use a second language has been. Well, after stints working at the Manchester Evening News, the Accrington Observer and the Macclesfield Express, along with never setting foot in France, he realised the answer is surprisingly little. But I guess, c'est la vie. Contact us at [email protected]