Doctors forced to amputate woman's leg after bite from 'harmless' Australian spider
| Last updated
Kristal Joseph was bitten by a spider on the sole of her foot back in February and it soon turned into a small ulcer.
The mother-of-five was due to start working her ‘dream job’ at a funeral home on March 1 when the ulcer turned into a horrific infection, leading her to go to hospital.
Over 12 weeks, Kristal underwent 10 debridement surgeries to clean the wound and remove infected skin, tendons and dead tissue.
Still, the infection was running rampant.
Two weeks ago, her husband, Callum, received a call from doctors informing him that Kristal only had 48 hours to live after she was rushed into intensive care with stage five kidney failure.
The infection began spreading into her tendons, ligaments and bones, and doctors had no choice but to amputate her leg to prevent it from spreading further.
“It’s totally life-changing,” Callum told Daily Mail.
“It’s taken a huge emotional, mental and physical toll on Kristal. The whole process has been such an ordeal for her and our family.”
While a bite from a white-tailed spider can be painful, it usually causes skin irritation and inflammation in most cases.
Callum has been left dumbfounded that such a small bite has led to this devastating outcome.
“The doctors thought the bite would go away by itself but it turned into a big blister and stated oozing,” he added.
“She had to undergo an urgent debridement a few days later. They ended up removing half of her ankle.”
Callum believes that treatment must have ultimately gone wrong, but he’s unsure what.
“The doctors and medical staff are trying to figure out where everything went wrong and we're waiting on a biopsy and other test results,” he said.
“For some reason it takes a long time because they've got to grow some sort of bacteria.”
Callum has taken unpaid time off work to care for Kristal while family members look after their children.
Some of the couple's friends have launched a GoFundMe, which has already raised over AUD $ 22,000 (£11,647).
"She [Kristal] faces these challenges with courage and composure. She is always thinking of others. She never likes to draw attention to herself, make a fuss or ask for help," the description reads.
“Now in her time of need, with such a life-altering surgery ahead and ongoing rehabilitation, we would like to be able to provide Kristal and her husband Callum with some support which we know they would never have asked for."