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Stories about dangerous creepy-crawlies give me, well, the creeps. So when you hear about the damage a spider bite can do, it's enough to make you want to steer well clear of them.
A 13-year-old boy was left with a 'black hole' in his arm the size of a 50p coin after he was bitten by a false widow spider while he was asleep.
Jamie Harrison woke up in late June this year to find a painful spot on his skin which eventually swelled to the size of a large boil, black in colour and oozing with pus. Gross.
Credit: Mercury Press
"It was really horrible, the bite had gone black and had pus in it," said Jamie, who lives in Torbay, Devon. "I just wanted to get rid of it as it was uncomfortable and looked awful."
"The doctor at the hospital knew straight away it was a false widow spider bite and told me they had to get all the pus out."
After several failed attempts to treat the bite, including by a GP, Jamie was rushed to Torbay Hospital A&E on 1 July.
Doctor there confirmed that the bite was from a false widow - whose bites can lead to the death of flesh.
A doctor then extracted pus by squeezing the bite, leaving Jamie with a gaping hole on the inside of his left arm.
"She managed to squeeze all the blackness out," Jamie added. "It was a relief when it was all out, but it left behind a pretty big hole about the size of a 50p piece."
Credit: Mercury Press
Once the spider bite had finally been drained, the hole in Jamie's arm was packed with surgical gauze.
He was given a four-week course of antibiotics and has now left with a small scar - not ideal, but not the worst outcome.
"I felt a bit better afterwards as it didn't hurt to the touch but for three weeks I was unable to go swimming with my mates at the beach which was quite annoying," Jamie said. "I'm just happy that it's healed like it has."
Now that Jamie knows the damage that spiders can do, he makes a special effort to stay well away.
"I didn't really think spiders could do that in this country," he said. "I didn't used to be bothered by spiders but now I am - I keep well away from them.
"If anyone is in a similar situation I recommend they go to the hospital and get it checked out straight away - otherwise it can turn really nasty."
There's no need to worry most of the time - the average false widow spider bite is reportedly only as bad as the average bee or wasp sting, presuming you're not allergic.
Still, when it does go wrong like in Jamie's case, the outcome isn't a pretty sight.
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