A 9-year-old boy has been left with a gruesome hole in his leg after a suspected poisonous spider bite allegedly ate away at the flesh on his limb, leaving him susceptible to serious infection.
Bobby Cleary’s mother explains that her son first complained of itchy swelling on April 1, but they initially didn’t suspect anything serious.
Mum Emma Barnett, 34, said her son was bitten on the Monday and that by Thursday it had become itchy and swollen, so she treated it with some Savlon and ‘didn’t think much more of it’.
However his primary school teacher phone Emma got a phone call from Bobby’s after-school club on the Thursday. She was informed that her son was limping and the wound was weeping, so they dressed it and Emma arranged an emergency GP appointment.
The GP confirmed it was a bite but said not to worry as it didn’t appear to be infected. He said it was most likely caused by a gnat, but within a week he was left with an inch-deep hole in his leg from the poisonous spider bite.
Bobby was given an antihistamine, pain relief and his leg was bandaged before he went home.
The following day, Bobby’s grandmother was taking care of him, she had to call Emma to tell her that his dressing was filling with fluid, so they went to A&E. Emma said: “They dressed it again and gave him antibiotics so I felt better about it and thought that would be that.
“Thank goodness they knew what they were doing.”
However, over the weekend things went from bad to worse for poor Bobby – and when his nan removed his bandage she saw the hole in his leg.
“I panicked, I’ve never seen anything like it,” she said. “It was clear it wasn’t a gnat bite.“
The family went off to A&E again and this time Bobby was given an IV drip to help flush the poison out of his system.
To complicate matters, when Bobby was a baby, he had bacterial skin infection celluitis in his eye, which means he is more susceptible to developing serious infections, such as sepsis.
Barnett said that as an infant, her son contracted an infection that now makes him more susceptible to developing sepsis, a potentially life-threatening condition caused by the body’s reaction to an infection.
Over the next few months she will have to monitor her son to ensure the wound doesn’t become infected. Emma says her son has been ‘amazing’ and is ‘dealing with the entire thing in his stride‘. Well, he’s certainly handling it better than I would.
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