Published: Wed, April 05, 2017
Health | By Jay Jacobs

Man loses both legs after white-tailed spider bite

Man loses both legs after white-tailed spider bite

A tourist's legs have been amputated and he's lost the use of an arm after his family claims he may have been bitten by a white-tailed spider in regional Victoria.

Pareja was not aware that he had been bitten until his leg began to swell and he developed a limp 24 hours after the incident.

By Monday, when he did seek medical help, the flesh eating bacteria from the bite had taken hold.

"Doctors think it was a white-tailed spider that bit him", daughter Jeffmarey Pareja posted on an online fundraising page.

"He (could) hardly walk on Saturday and on Sunday (his leg) started to turn black", Mr. Ogleby told 3AW on Wednesday.

Mr Pareja was visiting his family in Birchip Victoria in late February when he was bitten on the right leg by what is believed to have been a white-tailed spider
Man loses both legs after white-tailed spider bite

After seeing a doctor, Mr. Pareja was rushed to Wimmera Base Hospital where emergency surgery was performed to amputate his right leg, which had been eaten away by flesh-eating bacteria from the spider bite.

Speculation about whether white-tailed spider bites could cause necrotising arachnidism was investigated in a study published in 2003 in the Medical Journal of Australia.

Mr. Pareja was bitten by the spider a month ago in March and it could be another 12-18 months before he is able to return home.

She said her brother's kidneys were also not working and he was being aided with kidney support machinery.

The GoFund me page has raised $7000 so far for Mr. Pareja but his family says he'll need $30,000 to cover his bills.

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